PRISON officers dealing with a highly dangerous hostage crisis managed to convince the assailants to exchange their weapon for a Mars bar.
The five-hour stand-off,which occurred at the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise on Thursday began when two inmates took another one hostage.
A fourth prisoner was also barricaded in the same cell on the B1 Landing, but was not involved in the frightening ordeal.
Independent.ie understands that the two assailants threatened to cut off their victim’s ears with a shiv unless their demands were met.
Along with the request for drugs, their demands included tobacco, Swiss rolls and Mars bars.
The prison’s emergency control and restraint team were immediately alerted and the main prison went into full lockdown for the evening.
After hours of negotiating and attempts to defuse the situation, the team managed to convince the inmate holding the weapon to hand it over in exchange for a Mars bar.
“Prisoner demands were unclear, apart from ‘drugs’ and ‘no more sleeping on mattresses’, a spokesperson from the Prison Officers’ ssociation said.
“They sought tobacco, Swiss rolls and Mars bars. Shortly before 8.30pm staff forced entry into the cell and removed all four prisoners, meeting considerable resistance from at least two. No staff were injured.”
An Irish Prison Service official said that staff had responded and the incident was “successfully resolved”.
“No staff were injured and the prisoners involved received only minor injuries. The director general has commended all staff involved in ensuring that this incident was successfully resolved.
“Senior management in the Midlands Prison have commenced an investigation into the incident. An Gardai Siochana were notified,” the official said.