Thursday, 24 January 2019
Department of Justice and Equality
Prison Service Staff
115. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality his views in relation to recent reports in the media regarding prison officers leaving their areas of responsibility due to health and safety concerns, particularly in Portlaoise Prison, in which gang members are imprisoned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3455/19]
The Irish Prison Service has informed me that on 04 May 2018 a number of staff members left their post in Portlaoise prison, without leave to do so, while on duty.
This was clearly unacceptable and I am further informed that management immediately implemented measures to ensure that the impact of the situation was minimized and controlled, with the situation returning to normal that evening.
Furthermore, I am informed that management took prompt and appropriate action under the relevant Human Resources policies of the Irish Prison Service. As I am sure the Deputy will appreciate neither I, nor the Irish Prison Service, are in a position to comment further in respect of the application of Human Resources policies to individual staff members.