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'Wildcat' strike by prison staff delays trials


Prison vans

Prison vans

Prison vans

‘WILDCAT’ industrial action by some prison officers led to delays in several criminal trials, in what prison chiefs described as a “serious breach of discipline”.

Thirty-three officers from the Prison Service Escort Corp told management they could not work because they had forgotten their driving licences.

The Court Service said cases were delayed by about two hours.

Several people arrested by gardai on Tuesday night who legally had to appear before a court before midday were also released.

It is understood the drivers were protesting over the introduction of a new roster for the escort corp. The Irish Prison Service (IPS) said they had reached agreement with the Prison Officers’ Association to resolve the issue last week.

In a statement, the IPS said the action was being viewed as wildcat industrial action “which is in total contravention of all industrial relations practices and procedures. Such action represents a serious breach of discipline and will be dealt with under the appropriate disciplinary procedure.”