Laois County Councillor Noel Tuohy has blamed the gardaí for the lack of security which led to two prison officers being viciously assaulted last week while escorting a prisoner to Tallaght Hospital.
“There’s not a doubt in the world that someone made a mistake, someone could have died,” the former prison officer told the Leinster Express, pointing out that “the gardaí made the decision” not to send an armed escort on the day.
The attack happened last Tuesday, February 17, when officers were escorting a prisoner with 22 life sentences in the UK for armed robbery and a seven-year sentence for holding up the Bank of Ireland in Blackrock. One of the prison officers was stabbed in the stomach with a knife and needed emergency surgery, while a second officer was stabbed in the hand and neck.
The Portlaoise councillor said that “no one is looking for anyone’s head on a plate,” but the opinions of the prison officers who work with such dangerous criminals every day should be considered when deciding on security measures.
The Garda Press Office told the Leinster Express : “This incident is currently the subject of an investigation… An Garda Síochána do not comment on specific security arrangements.”