IPS Respond to Portlaoise Pictures With Investigation Instead Of Improvement

Cogus republican prisoners in Portlaoise comment on the primitive state of hygiene provision  regime in place at the prison.

Washing facilities

We very much welcome the publication of photos in the Irish Star 23-10-15. The photos are damming evidence and clearly highlight the appalling, degrading and unhygienic conditions of E-Block Portlaoise Prison, in which Republican Prisoners are forced to live.

Alongside the many damming reports over the years by the Prison Inspectorate indicating very clearly that E-Block should be demolished as it is not fit for human habitation; the photos now confirm and justify what the prisoners over many years of protesting have tried to highlight. We also want to ask the same people who came out and condemned the protests over the years, now condemn, based on the photographic evidence, the negligence of the IPS or will they turn a blind eye and condone what is taking place in Portlaoise Prison.

We also say to the IPS, instead of wasting time investigating how a camera may or may not have been smuggled into the prison, their time would be better spent trying to rectify a deplorable situation that should be condemned. This type of investigation only illustrates where their priorities lie, security before health and well being.
We also call on the Department of Justice to make public a recent prison doctors report that highlights the dangers prisoners are exposed too, legionnaire’s disease for example and other serious respiratory health risks due to the extremely poor conditions.

Shower area

Cogús POWs

Portlaoise Gaol, E2.

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

17 comments to ''IPS Respond to Portlaoise Pictures With Investigation Instead Of Improvement"

  1. This is horrifying. It's only possible with an apathetic public.

  2. bit of damp never killed anyone, do these lads not watch grant mitchell in the toughest prisons on earth. personally, if i was a guerrilla fighter willing to bomb and shoot for political goals, id put up with a wonky sink.

  3. Dáithí

    I agree it is horrific and indeed its only possible with an apathetic public.

    Here's the rub, and I'm not being pissey about this but I see you'll be in Galway before the year is out ... do some ad hoc research on this to test the waters on the depth of sympathy or support for Republican Prisoners in the area. Despite returning Ó Cuív, Tomás Ó Curraoin and having Ó Clochartaigh to boot I think you'll find just as an apathetic public in Connemara as the rest of the country.

    Unfortunately for those concerned support, outside the splinter group themselves, for dissident republican prisoners is as near zero as it can get.

  4. Ocuiv o clochartaigh hahaha. If prisoners were being brutalised id do more for them than u. Too much extortion going on with these groups for me to get peeved about a damp patch. Mount joy, no there's a real shithole.

  5. There is no excuse for a government run facility to allow such a dilapidated system to function. If that was in a train/bus station people would say hold on a minute. It is because it is in a closed institution where much of what is wrong can be hidden from public view, that it is allowed to continue. The government did not move to tackle the problem but sought to grab the whistleblower - the person behind the camera. Nor should it be skewed into commentary about the "undeserving" service user but should rather raise questions around the quality of service provision. Yeah, it is not the biggest problem the country faces but that is hardly the point.

  6. what about the poor taxi driver who got 5 months for smashing a tv in a public art performance in ennis last week. he deserves our support, free speech and all that being the thing here on tpq. poor guy, what a fucking disgrace he is getting no back up. hardened republican anarchist guerrilla wariors should toughen up a bit, thats all im saying. if ur willing to be part of a group who use proxy bombs dont fucking whinge to me about damp patches. sorry lads.

  7. and im genuinely not trying to be funny anthony, but please check out the toilets in busarus. they are worse than the above photo. thats the busarus toilets that some people who land into our country for the first time use, or try to use. if i was in dub now id send u a foto of them, they smell of death too, not shite but death. my message to any rep prisoner reading this is - get away from the armed rackets u are involved with - u have been duped - ur outfit is riddled/controlled by sinister forces - u are being used - be brave and tell ur oc to fuck off and uve had enough. - what is going on with ur factions is ten times worse than what happened to provos - read brendan hughes - stand up for the truth - u are being used - u are being used - u are being used.

  8. I have been in Bus Aras Dublin toilets regularly, as recently as last Saturday. I was thinking of Bus Aras when making the comparison in the above comment because while poor they are much better condition in my view that what is displayed here.

  9. CIE will be glad to hear that.

  10. Jerome

    What exactly do you think the purpose of the penal system is?

    I'm of the opinion that part of its function is to rehabilitate, rehabilitate not humiliate.

  11. Grouch, never mind unrelated bus stations,do you think the screws have the same conditions in the jail?
    HJ, I'm well aware of the apathy, if be interested how you guys sustained attention on the Prison issues of the eighties, genuine question. Is it just reading it backwards that makes it seem a vital part of discourse then?

  12. I was unfortunate enough to spend time in portlaoise gaol, if memory serves
    me right it was to be knocked down about 14 years ago. It is a dirty, damp
    unhygienic kip were you still have to slop out daily, however I agree with
    Jerome nobody seems to give a shit.The prisoners
    should withdraw support of there leaderships and
    end this bullshit it's going nowhere.

  13. some faction have declared war on a bunch of drug dealers in dublin today, its embarassing now, im just not arsed anymore lads, sorry.

  14. itd take a lot more than a damp patch to humiliate me henry, and are u saying rep prisoners need to be rehabilitated. daithi, i dont know how to answer that, i presume they dont.

  15. grouch, my point is that since the screws wont have their toilets in such a state within the same jail, its clearly another tactic to break Republican prisoners morale, and so its bigger than just a hygeine issue.

    ...I have been in Bus Aras Dublin toilets regularly...

    Business or pleasure AM?

  16. sean, i was there for ten days on remand years ago, i was innocent and the judge st me free, the prospect of going back there was not freaking me out to be honest, i had a warm dry bed and was well fed, there was a couple of guys there from donegal if i remember rightly who were taking some case to the european court of human rights over something or other. i thought they were nuts. im not a hardcore motherfucker, but im of the opinion that if ur in an armed group willing to shoot and bomb u shud be ready for a bit of hardship. theres old people living in shitholes up and down the country, in fear of being bet robbed etc. afraid to go out of their homes. daithi, if a damp patch and wonky sink will break ur morale well sorry for you.

  17. Dáithí

    different time different country ... there was sizeable overt support for the plight of northern nationalists, the military campaign and for the prisoners. Even greater tacit support existed, with reach right through the country.

    The Armagh/H Blocks committee tapped into that to a great extent attracting people outside of Sinn Féin ... people like Robbie Ballagh the artist, like Pat Gallagher a veterinary surgeon with a huge practice in Mohill, Co Leitrim. Support for the prisoners came from every strata of society.

    Since the GFA the sense of legitimacy that people felt the campaign and the prisoners had has been undermined and whittled away. The demise of Irish Republicanism as prophesied by Dr Big Mackers has sadly come to pass.

    Dead and gone ... and never coming back.


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