Fire at prison blamed on gangsters' turf war
Published 31/01/2011 | 05:00
A FIRE at Mountjoy Prison has been linked to an ongoing turf war involving one of the country's most notorious drugs gangs.
Five inmates had to be taken to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation after they set fire to furniture in their cell.
The men had been placed in the underground cell in the prison's B-base because of their involvement in a violent assault on a member of the feared Dublin criminal gang.
Saturday's violence began in the morning when a number of inmates from gangs based in Drimnagh and Ballymun attacked a man aligned with the gang based in the Inchicore-Crumlin area.
Prison officers decided to separate five of the men involved in the incident and put them in a communal cell in the B-base where the men set wooden bunk beds on fire.
They were brought to the Mater Hospital where they were treated for the effects of smoke inhalation.
Last night Jim Mitchell, of the Irish Prison Officers' Association, blamed the incident on overcrowding in Mountjoy.
"There has to be a proper policy regarding gangs inside of prison, this thing doesn't go away just because they are in prison. Overcrowding multiplies every prison problem," he added.