Portlaoise Prison Wing C faces safety concerns, on lockdown
Sheetal Sukhija - Monday 21st May, 2018
A particular wing of Ireland’s maximum security prison was put under lockdown
The Prison Wing C houses members of the Kinahan crime gang
The measure was taken after one officer was assaulted
DUBLIN, Ireland - Following an incident during which an officer was assaulted, an entire wing of Ireland’s maximum security prison was placed under lockdown.
According to authorities, the Prison Wing C at Portlaoise Prison, which houses members of the Kinahan crime gang was on lockdown after officers raised safety concerns.
Local media reports stated that about 17 staff members, including two senior prison officers, were reportedly informed by prison management that they are being transferred to Cloverhill prison in a fortnight.
Earlier, officers staged a walkout after one of them was assaulted in Wing C.
The particular wing where the incident occured houses the majority of feuding gang inmates - including Kinahan henchmen.
A former top security manager at the prison was quoted as saying, “Staff have been concerned for some time over their safety and have voiced their concerns again and again. Many of them have worked from between 10 and 15 years at the prison. But the fact that one of them was assaulted last week was the final straw. They knew nothing about the proposed move until being informed yesterday, (Friday).”
Adding, “Many of the those affected are particularly annoyed by this impasse because of the Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan being from the area. They believe he has not addressed their safety concerns despite them being voiced again and again. The reason behind Wing C remaining on lockdown is because the prison doesn’t have enough staff to deal with the prisoners now.”
The Department of Justice is set to witness an urgently convened meeting between the Prison Officers Association and the Irish Prison Service.
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