A prison officer suffered head and facial injuries today when he was attacked by an inmate at Cork Prison.
The Prison Officers Association (POA) said it was seriously concerned about the vicious and unprovoked assault on the officer, who was on duty on B3 landing.
It is understood the officer was punched in the face and head a number of times.
The officer, who was treated immediately by prison medical staff, was later taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital.
The POA said the prisoner who carried out the assault recently started a sentence for serious drug offences.
It claimed at least one member was being threatened or assaulted every day, and called for an urgent meeting with senior figures within the Prison Service.
“This is a most serious incident and we must look at ways of dealing with the ongoing threat of assaults on our members,” said John Clinton, POA general secretary.
“Each and every day at least one of our members experiences some threat or assault and it is evident that the frequency and intensity of the assaults is on the increase.
“We are seeking an urgent meeting with senior officials of the Prison Service to discuss this and related incidents.
“We are also aware that Cork Prison has very serious overcrowding issues and we have little doubt but this is a contributory factor to tension and violence.”
The Prison Service dismissed the POA’s claims about overcrowding.
“The POA believe every incident in every prison is due to overcrowding. We are waiting for a full investigation into what may have caused the incident,” the prison spokesman said.
“For the POA to put it down to overcrowding is making an excuse for violent assaults on our staff.”