Sunday 18 February 2018

Inmates in Cloverhill held prisoner hostage during stand-off with staff

Robin Schiller

A group of 15 inmates took a foreign national inmate as hostage this morning during a stand-off with staff at Cloverhill this morning.

More details have emerged this evening regarding the incident today.

Cloverhill Prison experienced major disruptions this morning after prisoners staged a protest about the treatment of their fellow inmates at the adjoining Wheatfield Prison facility.

Sources said that approximately 60 prisoners gathered in the exercise yard this morning and began protesting, while two inmates managed to climb onto the roof of the complex.

Prisoners in Wheatfield prison were apparently locked into their cells as staff from the facility rushed to aid their colleagues in Cloverhill.

After staff spoke to the inmates involved, some 45 of them agreed to voluntarily leave the yard and return to their cells.

It's understood the remaining 15 then armed themselves with homemade weapons, including razor wire and goalposts.

At this stage, it's understood this group had a foreign national inmate as hostage.

The OSU then entered the yard and a scuffle ensued.

It's understood some 11 inmates were injured and were taken to Tallaght Hospital for treatment. It is not clear what the extent of the injuries are, nor if any prison officers were injuries. 

This evening, two inmates remained on the roof of the complex and negotiations were ongoing.

The were also delays in transporting prisoners from the remand jail to the Courts of Criminal Justice today with many trials, among them murder cases delayed by almost two hours. 

Cloverhill Prison is a closed, medium-security prison for adult males which primarily caters for remand prisoners committed from the Leinster area.

The Irish Prison Service has confirmed that prisoners in the B Yard refused to return to their cells today. 

"During this incident two prisoners climbed onto an adjoining roof top. Efforts were made by prison management to resolve the incident through negotiation. However, the situation worsened with one prisoner being subject to a serious assault by some of the prisoners present," the statement read.

"At this stage the Governor instructed Control and Restraint teams to enter the yard and remove the non compliant prisoners of which there are approximately 15. A  number of prisoners were injured during this incident and damage was caused to the prison."  

"The matter will now be subject to an internal investigation and an investigation by An Garda Síochána. The Director General would like to commend the management and staff for the very professional manner in which they managed this incident."

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