Prisoner’s face slashed in prison hostage crisis

A PRISONER’S face was slashed after he was taken hostage by fellow inmates in the latest escalation of the overcrowding crisis at Mountjoy Jail.

The entire prison had to be locked down during the four-hour stand-off on Saturday, during which time it is understood the five prisoners who took the man hostage issued a list of demands to management.

The episode unfolded from 5.30pm on Saturday, when five prisoners in the B Basement section of the jail took another man hostage in cell number two and threatened to kill him.

It is understood that the man who was taken hostage by the other inmates is in his late 30s and was serving time for holding up a Dublin bookmakers at knifepoint. He was slashed across the forehead with a homemade weapon known as a shiv and was taken to the Mater Hospital, where he remained in A&E overnight for observation.

It is believed the prisoners who took the man hostage did so after one of them had been moved to B Base. Visitors to inmates in that area must pre-book their visit, and it is understood that a visitor to one of the men had not done so and was refused entry.

However, it is also understood that the men’s actions were prompted by overcrowding, with two men sleeping on the floor and where the cell toilet facilities were not working properly.

Evening recreation was cancelled in the jail as prison Governor John Lonergan and other senior staff attended the scene. They were issued with a list of demands by the prisoners, who finally gave up their action at 9.30pm.

Prison sources said the men were then placed in different cells to keep them apart, but because of a lack of room in the overcrowded prison, three were kept in rooms just 4ft by 4ft in space, while another was kept in a shower room, which before its renovation, was the cell in which Gary Douche was brutally killed by another prisoner, Stephen Egan, in 2006.

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