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Prison service investigating two staff allegations about management practices

Another case under consideration from 2016 involves allegations of penalisation.

Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews.ie

THE IRISH PRISON Service is currently investigating a number of allegations by staff received through protected disclosures.

In its annual report yesterday, the service said six disclosures were received by the head of internal audit last year. Four of these, however, were not considered as protected disclosures as they were not made by staff as set out by the legislation, or they were considered better dealt with under standard grievance and human resources procedures.

The remaining two protected disclosure allegations regarding “management practices” are currently under investigation. There is also one case under consideration from 2016 where allegations of penalisation were made by a member of staff.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Director General of the Irish Prison Service Michael Donnellan said one of the agency’s aims in its current strategy is to improve its relationships with staff:

“To support our staff who do a very difficult job behind the walls on behalf of Irish society and to encourage their training and their development. So, the more open an organisation we can become, the more support we can give our staff doing a very difficult job then I think the less of those stressful events that can happen.”

He also said the need to keep members of rival gangs separated in the prison is putting “huge pressure” on resources.

“You’re having to run several regimes within a prison environment which the prison service technically was never set up to do.”

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