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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 22 November, 2019
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Both sides 'disappointed' as officers picket outside Cloverhill prison

The officers claim staffing levels are dangerously low.

Image: Jane Horgan-Jones via Twitter

PRISON OFFICERS HELD a one-hour work stoppage this afternoon outside Cloverhill prison in Dublin, in protest against what they regard as staff shortages and dangerous working conditions.

Another one-hour picket is due to take place at 2pm tomorrow, with similar actions set for next week at Mountjoy prison.

In a statement this afternoon, Jim Mitchell, Deputy General Secretary of the Prison Officers’ Association (POA), blamed management for the failure to resolve the ongoing dispute.

We are bitterly disappointed that talks at the Labour Relations Commission on Tuesday last, which could have resolved this industrial action at Cloverhill, were unnecessarily delayed.
Today’s industrial action has gone ahead primarily because of a lack of staff on the landings in Cloverhill, and the knock-on safety issues which have developed.
Prison offers at Cloverhill are understandably concerned about the types of prisoners being housed there and the increased risk associated with this.

Responding to the actions, the Irish Prison Service said they too were “extremely disappointed” with the picket, accusing the POA of breaching the Haddington Road Agreement by taking industrial action. 

The POA have chosen to proceed with this industrial action despite the fact that they have had access to the dispute resolution mechanisms in place under the Haddington Road Agreement.
Moreover, it is occurring after extensive engagements which have taken place this week at the Labour Relations Commission which resulted in the acceptance by both parties of a conciliation agreement drafted by the Commission late yesterday evening.

Read: Mountjoy unit with ‘air of neglect and decay’ closed after damning report>

Inspector criticises management in deaths of 24 prisoners>

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Dan MacGuill

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