Irish Prison Service responds to prison officers action over Covid-19 vaccination

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

coronavirus covid-19

Prison escorts to courts impacted by action

The Irish Prison Service says it is working closely with staff in Portlaoise and other jails to manage Covid-19 and is engaged with the Government on the order of vaccination.

The IPS issued a statement in response to the withdrawal of goodwill by prison officers this week in protest at the vaccination rollout.

"The management of the Irish Prison Service has worked closely with all staff, and in close collaboration with the Prison Officers Association, to successfully manage the unique challenges posed by Covid-19 in the prison system.

"The Irish Prison Service has been and continues to engage with Government, with regard to access to the Covid-19 vaccination for both prison staff and prisoners in line with the Vaccine Allocation Groups published by Government," said the statement.

The HSE said the issue would be a matter for the Department of Health as the provisional vaccination allocation list a matter for the Government.

The Department of Health has so far not commented.

The incidence of Covid-19 in jails has been largely contained through cooperation and strategies adopted by prisoners and prison officers which has been praised by the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and previously Laois Offaly TD, Charlie Flanagan when he was the minister responsible for prisons.