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Mountjoy Prison governor Eddie Mullins tells Niamh Horan he wants 'big business' to give former inmates a second chance

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Challenge: Governor Eddie Mullins on the spiral staircase at Mountjoy. Photo: Mark Condren

Challenge: Governor Eddie Mullins on the spiral staircase at Mountjoy. Photo: Mark Condren

Challenge: Governor Eddie Mullins on the spiral staircase at Mountjoy. Photo: Mark Condren

The heady mix of sweat and testosterone fills the weights room at Mountjoy Prison and it seems as though all of Dublin's toughest criminals are crammed into this tiny gym.

Bulging muscles protrude from perspiration-soaked tank tops, tattooed arms pump iron and the roars from inmates make it almost impossible to hear. One man proudly displays his biceps by holding them out in front of his chest as he walks. Fists squeezed tight, in a dramatic clenching gesture. For a moment I laugh, thinking he is doing this ironically. But no, these are some of Ireland's most violent criminals - peacocking.

Governor Eddie Mullins tries to narrate over the bellows and whistles. I nod and smile ,but I can't hear a word he is saying. "Can I talk to them?" I shout, and he laughs as though I have made a joke I'm not in on. "No," he is bemused, "not these guys."