Would John Lonergan have prevented the Mountjoy riot?

The new regime at the prison following the retirement of John Lonergan has hit the ground running in a full frontal attack on drug use by prisoners. But is this the correct approach to addicted people? What is the role of overcrowding in dealing with these matters? More than two years ago, a now retired prison officer who is a friend of mine told me that he feared for the lives of some of his colleagues in Mountjoy. He said the tension was palpable and someone could be badly hurt before help came because of the cuts in staff. As governor, John Lonergan had a most enlightened attitude to prisoners and their problems. He is now retired and I enjoy meeting him as I did recently (see 29th September). The recent riot reported in the Examiner is very serious. It is obvious that a radical assessment should be made of the current situation in Mountjoy right now and action taken to diffuse tensions.


Two prison officers seriously injured in Mountjoy riot
Thursday, October 14, 2010 – 09:07 PM

Two prison officers have been seriously injured in a riot at Mountjoy Prison in Dublin tonight.

The incident began at around 7pm when over 70 inmates barricaded themselves into the recreational yard in the prison armed with snooker cues and legs of tables.

As prison officers attempted to deal with the situation, two members of staff were injured and have since been taken to hospital.

Officers from other prisons were drafted in to deal with the situation and at around 9pm the public order unit was called in.

By 9:30pm, all of the prisoners were returned to their cells and order has been restored.

Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/two-prison-officers-seriously-injured-in-mountjoy-riot-477713.html#ixzz12O3H2632