I am informed by the Director General of the Prison Service that the incident referred to by the Deputy arose on Saturday, 18 September 1999 in the wake of an assault on a prisoner by a number of other prisoners. When prison staff intervened, they in turn were attacked by a group of prisoners. Order was quickly restored and a number of prisoners were moved to other parts of the prison to relieve tension in the wing where the incident occurred. Eleven prison officers and one injured prisoner required hospital treatment. The injured prisoner required in-patient treatment and remained in hospital until 18 October 1999.
Two investigations are under way into the incident – an internal investigation by the Governor of Mountjoy Prison and a Garda investigation. The principal focus of both investigations is an alleged assault on the injured prisoner. Arising from the incident, a prison officer has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigations.
As the two investigations in question are ongoing, it would be inappropriate for me to comment any further at this stage. I request and strongly advise the House that we should avoid at this time getting into further detail about the incident and the individuals involved as this could be subsequently deemed prejudicial to ongoing investigations and to have tainted any subsequent court proceedings that might arise or disciplinary action.