Taxpayers fund €70k in sports gear for inmates
PRISONERS will have fewer excuses to while away the hours on their PlayStations with the Prison Service about to splurge on a range of new sports equipment.
The Irish Prison Service (IPS) has confirmed a chunk of tax-payers' money will be spent on a whole range of sports equipment for the prison population that includes murderers, gangland bosses, fraudsters and robbers.
In response to a Freedom of Information request, the Department of Justice has confirmed that prisoners at the country's best known prison, Dublin's Mountjoy campus, own a total of 55 PlayStation consoles.
However, in a detailed tender published yesterday, the IPS is seeking firms to supply a range of sports goods over three years.
The IPS is seeking a supply of basketball posts/nets and balls along with volleyball posts/nets and balls. The spend by the IPS on the sports equipment is part of the approximate €65,000 cost per prisoner per year.
An IPS spokesman confirmed yesterday that the sports equipment is for prisoners' recreational areas.
Those tennis playing members of the 4,031 strong prison population will also be glad to see that those who enjoy indoor tennis are to be catered for with indoor net stands, mini-tennis rackets and tennis balls forming part of the tender.