Gardaí and HSE probe claims lives of prison officers were put at risk

Gardaí and HSE probe claims lives of prison officers were put at risk

The incident is said to have taken place at Portlaoise Prison in Co Laois. 

The gardaí and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) are conducting separate investigations into an incident in Portlaoise Prison in which senior prison officers claimed their lives were put in danger by colleagues who disparaged them to some of the most dangerous criminals in the State. 

Detectives from the Portlaoise district have interviewed prison officers about the incident and are now advancing to interview prisoners who were central to the issue, including the gangland figure Freddie Thompson.

The HSA opened its investigation on foot of a complaint from one of the senior officers who was targeted. 

The matter came to the attention of prison authorities in May 2019 when Thompson made a complaint about three officers disparaging more senior officers in front of prisoners. 

The junior officers were telling prisoners of their colleagues that one was “a fucking idiot” and that they will “tell you they will do something and then not do it, persons not to be believed".

One of the senior officers was a particular target, according to Thompson. 

The junior officers targeting him “may put his life in danger if prisoners were to believe that he was lying”. 

The complaint was investigated by an external investigator, John Naughton, who compiled a report in which he ruled that Thompson’s complaint had substance. 

Despite the serious findings, no action was taken against the officers deemed to have put their colleagues' safety in danger. 

Two of the senior officers who were targeted have not returned to work since the incident.

The Garda investigation will determine whether there was any criminal culpability for the actions that were taken. 

The HSA investigation is under the Health and Safety Act 2005 which obliges employers to provide a safe workplace for employees. 

More in this section

Price info
IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.