Upcoming Events

Dublin | Rights and Freedoms

no events match your query!

User Preferences

  • Language - en | ga
  • text size >>
  • make this your indymedia front page make this your indymedia front page

Blog Feeds

forward

Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

offsite link Global Finance, Money and Power: Lecture Four - Global and State Institutions 17:17 Wed Oct 01, 2014

offsite link HOUSING AND THE IRISH STATE 10:48 Tue Sep 30, 2014

offsite link Boomer Times 10:26 Tue Sep 30, 2014

offsite link FALLEN FRUIT 08:26 Mon Sep 29, 2014

offsite link Irish Labour Movement 1880-1924: Lecture Two - New Unionism 09:26 Fri Sep 26, 2014

Dublin Opinion >>

Irish Left Review
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left

offsite link Mark Fielding Speaks to the Nation: We Don?t Owe You Squat Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:15 | Michael Taft

offsite link Demanding the Future: The Right2Water and Another Ireland Tue Sep 30, 2014 21:56 | Paul O'Connell

offsite link IBEC?s Myth Debunking is Just Bunk Tue Sep 30, 2014 16:22 | Michael Taft

offsite link Consumerism and Equality Mon Sep 29, 2014 15:47 | Jaime Dixon

offsite link Investment Remains the Key to a Real Recovery Wed Sep 24, 2014 16:31 | Michael Burke

Irish Left Review >>

Human Rights in Ireland
www.humanrights.ie

offsite link NASC: Invitation to Tender for Immigration Research Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:24 | Liam Thornton

offsite link Update: Ireland ratifies UN complaints mechanism for children Thu Sep 25, 2014 14:51 | Edel Quinn

offsite link Understanding Children?s Rights: A Training Programme on Children?s Rights and Effective Internati... Mon Sep 22, 2014 17:44 | Edel Quinn

offsite link Conference on EU Counter-Terrorism, Dublin, 13 October Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:36 | Fiona de Londras

offsite link Rooney on Hassan v UK: ?symbiotic approaches?, ?subsequent practices? and amicus curiae Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:13 | GuestPost

Human Rights in Ireland >>

NAMA Wine Lake

offsite link Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake

offsite link Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake

offsite link Gayle Killilea Dunne asks to be added as notice party in Sean Dunne?s bankruptcy Fri May 17, 2013 12:30 | namawinelake

NAMA Wine Lake >>

Mountjoy Prison: 600 into 420 Won't Go - Prisoner Solidarity Anyone?

category dublin | rights and freedoms | news report author Monday July 14, 2008 12:09author by Ciaron - Catholic Worker Report this post to the editors

Prisons are the Crime!

On Saturday afternoon 70 inmates took direct action against intolerable living conditions in Dublin's Mountjoy Prison where 600 prisoners are crammed into an institution which has a bed capacity for 420. No staff were injured during this action where where 70-80 inmates occupied the recraetional area of D Wing. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/13/ireland?gus...dnews

The Prison Officers Association made a statement on Saturday evening that they believed the unrest is caused by overcrowding. As far as I know there was no response from "the left"
in Dublin to this stand off on Saturday evening. It would be interesting to share reflections here on indymedia on why there was no response. This is not a rhetorical request. I'd really like to hear different perspectives! Does the Irish left only chase media friendly issues where they think they can get some mileage. Do they think that there is no mileage in prisoner rights campaigning where public perception maybe "they are all scumbags, what do they expect hotel conditions? overcrowding is too good for them" etc? Are there so few on the Irish left that have been to prison or know people in prison. Being a Catholic Worker, prison is an occupational hazard. And working at a homeless shelter I have many friends who are in and out of Mountjoy - as prisons in modern Ireland (like elsewhere) serve as warehousing the poor rather than seriously addressing crime.

Maybe the left and the mainstream have the same attitude to prisoners as they do to the cannon fodder being shuttled through Shannon on a daily basis - "scumbugs, don't care, they get what they deserve!" When these boys and girls come back from losing this war or are finish there sentences in this overcrowded hole - you may have to learn to care while society reaps the whirlwind.

Having spent a month Limerick Prison I have personal experience of how bad living conditions are in these old Victorian Irish jails (little difference from the lack of investment in the hospitals, transport and basic social infrastructure by the cashed up Celtic Tiger you may say and may have a point), I also know from my experience of direct action in prison environments (Texas, Darwin and Brisbane) how desperate prisoners must feel to take such action http://www.serve.com/nukeresister/nr119/nr119ciaron.html One knows at the end of the day (riot, occupation, whatever) you're going to be separated from your mates and individually bashed). Maybe prison officer culture is better in Ireland than Australia, U.S. and England where there is a strong military culture where a lot of the officers are ex-military, I dunno!

I do know that when prisoners take such action if civil society responds with activism - pickets outside the jail, proactive advocacy - prisoners can sense hope and loss of life and escalated violence doesn't have to be the outcome http://www.greenleft.org.au/2000/414/23145 (One imagines it's not over yet in Mountjoy - more violence and prosecutions to follow) Such solidarity did not take place on Saturday or Sunday and there doesn't seem to be any follow to locate and advocate prisoners demands. The riot squad stormed the recreation area - with 5 officers and 2 prisoners hospitalised.
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0714/1....html

Related Link: http://www.greenleft.org.au/2000/414/23145
author by lulupublication date Mon Jul 14, 2008 19:10Report this post to the editors

Sure there's a few people I'm glad are banged up, but for many prisoners, some rehabilitation would be more useful in effecting behaviour change, & maybe less costly than prison. There's also a fair percentage who should never have been imprisoned: peaceful dissenters, people sent down for possession of cannabis, and people with problems, mental or learning disabilities who get put away because social or mental health services don't want to spend their budget and deal with them.

author by Joe Byrnepublication date Mon Jul 14, 2008 20:17Report this post to the editors

I am aware of a man who was stiched up in court and stuck in Mountjoy for two weeks. One of his stories has been reported on this Indymedia, there are many more of his stories and many other people's stories which read in a similiar vein.

He told me it was like the film midnight express and that many bodies, victims of murder and suicide are taken out of there evey year and nothing is ever heard about it .

Of course if "white collar criminals" were populating the Joy it would have been a different story long ago. On the other hand, we dont go in for banging those WC's up and we all know why that is.

author by Ciaron - Catholic Workerpublication date Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:34Report this post to the editors

Didn't get around to responding to the first comment (now deleted) stating no problem with present conditions and advocating more prisons. What the poster failed to grasp was the very basic legal principle that a sentence to prison AS punishment not FOR punishment. A concept jettisoned bythe U.S.state at Gitmo and the other (incuding torture) is becoming more mainstreamed and trickle downed by the day in western prisons.

To point out the present situation in Mountjoy is unacceptable is not necessarily a radical perspective. The Prisoner Officers Association have this postition. The warden is critical of present conditions. In terms of the working class being over represented (and other marginalised minorities) in the prison system - one is reminded of the former head of the New South Wales prison system once stating "it is harder for a richman to go to prison in NSW than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle!" The warden of Strangeways (Manchester) went it went up is also a good advocate for prison reform and less prisons.

The tabloids and government will try to defuse the politics of this recent incident by empahasising the criminal pasts of participants and the violence that took place once the riot squad made its move. I believe this violence could have been avoided with patience and visible solidarity on the outside. I've seen such outside intervention work before! If you're cornered, fearful and abandoned with no hope, you're ging to come out swnging! Let's hope the Prisoners Officers Association don't get bought off with merely better wages and conditions for themselves - but keep up the demandaorund 600 don't go into 420 and look at broader issues. To think the tension and more prisoner action is over is pretty stupid. Let's hope smeone outside takes up the case of these 70 prisoners who willface severe (formal and informal) punishment for the action they have taken - if the unacceptable context is ignored.

To give them credit, Dublin anarchists have been involved in the issue of deaths in (garda not prison) custody around the Wheelock case, but there is little radical solidarity happening around the prison issue and when prisoners feel forced to take direct action (hi risk in the prison context). I have posed a few theories and questions about why in original post. I'd be intersted in hearing people's perspecives on why this is the case.

Prison is a facist environment (pocket) in societies that otherwise present themselves as liberal democratic. I have been in prisons on 3 occasions when aboriginal prisoners were killed by staff attack or negligence...very little came out of it in terms of inquiry. When it looked like I was headed to Muntjoy at the end of the Ploughshares trial in August 06 - a young man was killed in a crowded holding cell, his body covered by a mattress as prisoners went out for meal breaks. What gives?

There was more anarchist and "left"actvism around prisoners in the '70's when a lot of lefties were locked up for anti-war and draft resistance, there was a follow on. This was the experience in Brisbane in the '80's when a lot of Catholic Workers, feminists and anarchists were doing short stints for refusing to pay fines arising out of free speech violations and anti-nuclear warship visit resistance.
Some of our reponses including starting a Prisoners Programon student radio (reading out love letters from girl/boyfreinds, playing requests and injecting politics to our captive audience and families on the outside), responding with solidarity vigils when prisoners took action echoing their demands, getting good political reading material in ( a lot of ODC folks have been radicalised during their prison time - Malcolm X, Mitch Snyder, Debbie Kilroy founder of "Sisters Inside" and wnner of "Order of Australia") welcoming them out on release -the more politicised becoming part of the Brisbane anarchist activist andindigeneous networks.

author by Bob Clementspublication date Wed Jul 16, 2008 18:38Report this post to the editors

Seemingly one of the 15 rioters is Leroy Dumbrell, brother of the infamous Dumbrells. Read here:

" Recently the Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) increased by two years the prison sentence imposed on him for assaulting a man, who lost the sight in his eye from the attack,

Dumbrell (21) of Emmett Road, Inchicore, Dublin, had 57 previous convictions and was on bail for another assault when he attacked Nigel Reid in the face, causing him to permanently lose the sight in his left eye.

In December 2006, Dumbrell was convicted by a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury of assaulting Mr Reid causing him serious harm and robbing his mobile phone on July 11, 2004.

Judge Frank O'Donnell ordered that Dumbrell serve the eight years, consecutive to a five-year sentence imposed on him in October 2005. "

Sounds great. But wait:

"He suspended the last five years on condition he remain under the supervision of the probation services for two years upon his release."

Oh dear. He's blinded a man but may only serve three years.

He's engaged in riotous behaviour and we should show him solidarity for what...?

author by Justin Morahanpublication date Thu Jul 17, 2008 00:07Report this post to the editors

Well done, Ciaron, for highlighting this issue.
One disturbing aspect (among many) about our knowledge of the trouble in Mountjoy is the fact that nearly all of the information has come from the Prison Officers' Association or the Irish Prison Service.
The Prison Officers' Association is concerned with the pay and conditions of its members, who are prison officers. http://www.poa.ie/
The Irish Prison Service is responsible for the provision of safe, secure custody for those people committed to prison by the Courts
http://www.irishprisons.ie/

So far I have seen nothing from a anyone who might have been able to give a credible account of what happened and the reasons why it happened, from a prisoner's point of view.

Today Ireland has no Prisoners' Rights Organisation. In the seventies such an organisation flourished, inspired by people lke Mrs Guy and Máirín de Búrca. On the Committee were a practising solicitor, Pat McCartan (now a High Court Judge) and spokesperson Joe Costello (now a TD). Importantly, membership was open to, and mostly composed of, former prisoners. The PRO lobbied often successfully for prisoners' rights and annoyed Justice Minister Patrick Cooney enough to elicit a damning comment from the Minister to the effect that prisoners have no rights. If the current riot had occurred then, there would have been a vital input in the news from the PRO. This is much missed at present.

There is only one account available of what happened and that is the account of the people who have power and absolute control over the second party in the affray. The media appear to accept that account as if it were 100% true. There is also a dismissal of any other possible version of events. Patrick Cooney's philosophy appears to be accepted today.

So, it was chilling to hear a spokesperson for the Prisoners Officers' Association comment at length on his own version of the injuries suffered by some of his colleagues and fail to mention, until asked, the injuries suffered by the prisoners. His dismissive reply was "two of them were sent over to the hospital." That was the end of the story - no further questioning by the radio host, no hearing for the other side

This is not to deny that injuries suffered as a result of any form of violence constitute a very serious and deplorable occurrence. The point I am making is that the presentation of the story of what exactly happened before, during and after the riot is totally one-sided.

When the matter comes to the courts only "evidence" will matter and the reliability of the "evidence" will be decided on by one of our present panel of judges. The judge will not be interested in the causes of the riot or what happened after the riot but in dealing with the charges against certain inmates. as defined by the Gardaí. This is an unsatisfactory state of affairs. An independent body - really independent - should be allowed to investigate on a one-off basis and present its findings to the public.

I agree that prisons are the problem. It is inhuman to lock up people in institutions like Mountjoy where space is at a minimum. No matter how well-intentioned any governor is, prisons are places where bullies can have their way. The secrecy of prisons allows for vile deeds to go unreported and unchecked. Is this rehabilitation? Do we desire punishment that results in recidivism or restorative justice that would empty these walled monsters of stone where humans should never have to live?

author by not 1 ofpublication date Thu Jul 17, 2008 01:05Report this post to the editors

If it had a PO box - those visiting the prison could be flyered with the address and reassurance that accounts from prisoners posted to it would be published here. 100 flyers would do the trick. They would pass the address around themselves after that. It would be a good days work.

author by Timmypublication date Thu Jul 17, 2008 16:32Report this post to the editors

The Conquest of the British Tribes from 42AD onward was part of the slaveholders war machine to destroy the matriarchy as solidarity with the free living communal lifestyle and thusly enable the enslavement to proceed more smoothly. With the new millenium you'd think true liberation believers would take the occasion to dismantle the prison systems introduced by the English Empire to Irish people, and bring back the free living communes which proceeded them in place of origin. The trouble is prisons originated as a war machine by the Sextus destruction of the matriarchy and are maintained by the Imperialist rulers as such to this day. They never were intended to re-habilitate what they replaced--- the organic ag communes. Further alienation results in the species until their replacement, which means back to the land is needed.

author by The Dollardpublication date Thu Jul 17, 2008 20:47Report this post to the editors

Do people not get it? Prison is meant to be harsh, its a punishment for acting the scumbag on Irish streets, for terrorising decent people who want to go about their business without being attacked, robbed, stabbed or puked on by a drunkard. Its great to see that the prisoners have it tough. Thats what they deserve. Who is shouting about the victims rights? Ireland is sadly going down the road of increasing violence with increases in stabbings and shootings year on year. At least these scumbags are behind the wall in Mountjoy where they can do less harm. There is a lot of bull talk in the media about the capacity being 400 odd. Mountjoy could easily take in another 150 or so more prisoners. Nobody should be too worried about their conditions or rights. They were not too worried about the rights of decent law abiding people when they carried out their despicable acts.

author by Ciaron - Catholic Workerpublication date Thu Jul 17, 2008 23:48Report this post to the editors

Well as Dostoevsky sad "you can judge a society by the quality of its prisons!"

(John Cusack heavilly influenced by Phil Berrigan and Dorothy Day injects this qoute into the action flick "Con Air"). Dosh, Day and Berrigan had first hand knowledge of prison environments. I too have had first hand experiences of some 6 maximum security prisons in 3 different countries, multiple lock ups in 6 and have flown shackled and cuffed Con Air on a number of occasions for that matter.

Dosh got it one - the gridlock in Mountjoy is echoed in the gridlock of trolleys on the hospital wards and the gridlock on the streets 7 hours a day in Celtic Tiger Ireland

So Bob it's really what kind of life you want to lead for your 3 score and ten? One of love and solidarity or one based on fear and ignorance?

It also depends on what kind of society you want to live in? A relatively democratic one - where prison (deprivation of liberty) is a sentence AS punishment OR a creeping fascist one where prison is a sentence FOR arbitery punishment? If the Irish bureaucrats were a bit more efficient we would be fasttracking to a police state like Britain, but hey there's still time here to turn it around. Be grateful for small mercies!

You haven't put forward any argument for prison either AS or FOR punishment. You might have a problem with sentencing policy and the quality of judges in Ireland but that's another issue.

All you have done is a tabloid troll on the selective background of a participant of last Saturday to justify the overcrowding (600 into 420 capacity) at Mountjoy. You have the government's position and the government's argument. You don't share the position with the warden and the Prisoner Officers Association who are calling for immediate action now to reduce the population at Mountjoy.

I have been locked up with people who have done worse than the example you quote and yes I think they are all deserving of our love solidarity and human rights in the inhuman conditions they now find themselves in - thisime these peole in Mountjoy. I think its good for them and good for the rest of us when they get out.

It is either negligent or naieve to think that this Mountjoy pressure cooker won't explode or last weekend was the last of it.

In Australia, unfortunately, prison reform only followed serious prison riots (Victoria and New South Wales in the '70's) There were also riots in Queensland in the early '80's. The Qld. Prison Minister shared your attitude by responding to a hunger strike with "Let them starve!" and the prison burned. But in '88 the cycle of violence in Queensland prisons was broken by creative nonvilolent direct action by the prisoners in concert with proactive solidarity from prisoner families, anarchists, catholic workers & feminists (many from a rape crisis centre that dealt with crime victims on a daily basis), students and setions of "the left".

In Texas, I spent 9 months in a cage with 23 other men welded to 5 other cages with the 6 individual units for the trannies - that was 150 men in one room. It wasn't a surpise when it exploded in a riot and it wasn't a pretty sight. And when you find yourself caught up in such a shitstorm with nowhere to run, few options are presented.

It won't be a surprise when Mountjoy really goes up. Last weekend was only a taster. The only thing stopping it will be whether the former Governor of Strangeways recent observation is correct - that the role heroin has destroyed the capabilty of prisoner solidarity culture over the last decade as a basis for colelctive action of any kind. But as last weekend shows I think it would be unwise for the government to put all its eggs in that basket. The govenment hopes for more privatised responses of more prisoner suicides and addictions than any form of collective action and solidarity.

With the Boggo Rd./Brisbane '88 example ( and the Kennedy Royal Commision it initiated that closed the jail etc) commited nonviolent action by civil society can intervene to avoid such a catastophe - and where both staff and prisoners can come out winnners rather than losers. At the moment I don't see the will even among "the irish left" to intervene...so the Mountjoy time bomb ticks on. If this remains the case staff and prisoners will reap the whirlwind the tabloids, government and maybe Bob will feign moral superiority etc

author by Bob Clementspublication date Fri Jul 18, 2008 19:29Report this post to the editors

Judging by the last portion of your post, you seem to be almost willing another riot. What, of course you are!

I couldn't care less how many prisons you have served time in. Maybe if you got a job instead of landing yourself in so much trouble you would be a happier person.

I'm old-fashioned: I think if you blind someone, you ought to be jailed -and for longer than 3 years! I don't think anyone that has raped another ought to be given a suspended sentence. But what do I know?

Those other prisoners have been convicted for serious offenses also. They are not protesting over 'conditions' or overcrowding -this is merely the cause you choose to believe. The reality is that the new regime of searches has resulted in the seizures of drugs and contraband and certain individuals are not happy about it.

What sort of life do I want to live? One of peace and security: criminals are locked up, with stiff penalties for violent assault and sexual offenses.

Prison is a perfectly legitimate means of guaranteeing citizens' security through removing from the general populace persons of a violent disposition who have committed serious crimes. It is perfectly legitimate to deprive people of their freedom (in lieu of retaliation or reprisal) and so punish them when they have committed crimes. This is the primary rationale behind prison, rehabilitation is always the secondary (or tertiary) aim.

Of course prison isn't nice and there ought to be one cell per prisoner. But their welfare is well behind that of patients on hospital trolleys and their 'rights' have largely been forfeited because of their behaviour. Society accepts this -excepts for a few nutters. But people like you are -and always will be -the extreme minority.

author by Ciaron O'Reily - Catholic Workerpublication date Sat Jul 19, 2008 08:24Report this post to the editors

"Go away Ciaron"

Well Bob this is what theProsecution said to me at the Four Courts this time last year, but the jury said "No, stay around!" So for what its worth I remain out and about and online. Where the Prosecution wanted me to go away to was Mountjoy, so what happens there remains significant to me. "There but for fortune go you or I!" Phil Ochs. As I stated in an earlier comment, the week I was supposed to go away to Mountjoy they found a young mans corpse in a holding cell, unreported by other prisoners going to and fro for meal breaks. I thought this a sad reflection on the culture therein.

"Judging by the last portion of your post, you seem to be almost willing another riot."

Jesus wept! When Jesus approaching the city for the last time, predicts the levelling of Jerusalem by the Romans (20 years later) if radical change is not embraced. He is not "willing" its destruction, the prediction is obvious and correct as Jeruslam is levelled in insurectionary violence and Roman response after his rejection 20 short years later. We won't have to wait that long at Mountjoy for this predictable scenario to play itslef out. Prophetic observation, or dystopian literature for that matter, points to present trends and where they are going. Orwell is not "willing it" (the trends reaching their fulfilment) in "1984", Huxley is not willing it in "Brave New World", Vonnegut is not willing it in "Player Piano" and I'm not willing the predictable in Mountjoy here. I'm calling for compassion, solidarity and action by civil society, anarchists "theleft", the church, anybody to avoid the predictable violence that awaits at Mountjoy. We need to be challenging the ignorance you express here and taking proactive action now.

"I couldn't care less how many prisons you have served time in."

Bob, We know you don't care, you don't need to convince us of that!.

I quote my CV here to show I'm not like you - speaking out of my ass when it comes to comment on the nature of prison. I was caught in the middle of a riot in Texas in'91, I was in a brand spanking new Prison in Louissianna in '92 as the Cuban (& other prisoners) had taken hostages and burnt the place to the ground in '88 and I was in Boggo Rd./Brisbane in '88 when prisoners took NVDA rather than escalate the violence (a prisoner had already been shot and prisoners had already trashed the admin in response) and in concert with activist solidarity on the outside closed the jail and improved conditions for inmates and staff.

"Maybe if you got a job instead of landing yourself in so much trouble you would be a happier person."

I'm happy enough Bob given the state of the world. I have a job. But as the song goes "My work is more than my job and my life is more than my work!" You seem to suffer from a common confusion between "worK" and "jobs". Some jobs are not work - they produce nothing but human suffering - maintaining Mountjoy in its present state, making weapons at Raytheon, refueling U.S. war planes at Shannon AND some work is not considered a job under capitalism raising children etc etc.

"I'm old-fashioned: I think if you blind someone, you ought to be jailed -and for longer than 3 years! I don't think anyone that has raped another ought to be given a suspended sentence. But what do I know?"

You're not so old fashioned Bob. "An eye for an eye was actually a new legal reform in limiting payback. The New Testament takes us beyond payback and punishment into the heady realms of reconciliation and justice. You should meet Richard Moore from Derry ("Children in theCrossfire"), who recently reconciled with the British soldier who shot him in the face and took his eyesight from him as a child. Ask Richard if he thinks there are better responses than locking this Brit up or gouging his eyes out? What route has offered him the most healing as a victim of violent crime?

"Those other prisoners have been convicted for serious offenses also. They are not protesting over 'conditions' or overcrowding -this is merely the cause you choose to believe. "

These prionsers have responded collecitvely, it's not perfect but it's a start and an improvemen o hte privatised reponses of shooting up or suicide. It's a cry of despair and for help..it has been met with a deafening silence from civil society "the left" etc in Dublin thus far.

"What sort of life do I want to live? One of peace and security: criminals are locked up, with stiff penalties for violent assault and sexual offenses."

Bob you do not live in a society and economy based on peace and justice in which people occaionally divert and offend from the mainstream, offend against and end up in prison if caught.

The first night I spent in a max prison. My cellmate observed "People will stop robbing banks when banks stop robbing people!" This is prophetic insight into the nature of our society. There is wholesale and retail crime. Wholesale crime is commited by those born with the birthright. Wholesale theft, killing and dealing is undertaken by governments and corporations serviced by the military and protected by the law. Most people I have met in my two years in custody in six countries haven't been inside for rebelling against these high crimes of capitalism. They have been in for micing the high crimes and conforming to the ethicsof capitalism without having the birthright of the Bushes and Cheyneys et. al. thus carrying out retail versions of their crimes.

"Prison is a perfectly legitimate means of guaranteeing citizens' security through removing from the general populace persons of a violent disposition who have committed serious crimes. It is perfectly legitimate to deprive people of their freedom (in lieu of retaliation or reprisal) and so punish them when they have committed crimes. This is the primary rationale behind prison, rehabilitation is always the secondary (or tertiary) aim."

Prison is many things Bob - one thing it is increasingly becoming is a profit driven industry. Like any industry it lies about its product and what it can do for you and society.

"Of course prison isn't nice and there ought to be one cell per prisoner."

"When one man one cell was a Vcitorian Value!" Billy Bragg,
Rotting on Remand
Those days are gone Bob

"But their welfare is well behind that of patients on hospital trolleys and their 'rights' have largely been forfeited because of their behaviour. Society accepts this -excepts for a few nutters. But people like you are -and always will be -the extreme minority."

Didn't know I was in popularity contest Bob. If you keep running with the ignorance you've got and the popular prejudices that abound, you'll do well in the popularity stakes!

Ciaron O'Reilly
Blog http://ciaron.wordpress.com/

Related Link: http://ciaron.wordpress.com/
author by Bob Clementspublication date Sat Jul 19, 2008 16:00Report this post to the editors

>"I'm old-fashioned: I think if you blind someone, you ought to be jailed -and for longer than 3 years! I don't think anyone that has raped another ought to be given a suspended sentence. But what do I know?"

You're not so old fashioned Bob. "An eye for an eye was actually a new legal reform in limiting payback. The New Testament takes us beyond payback and punishment into the heady realms of reconciliation and justice. You should meet Richard Moore from Derry ("Children in theCrossfire"), who recently reconciled with the British soldier who shot him in the face and took his eyesight from him as a child. Ask Richard if he thinks there are better responses than locking this Brit up or gouging his eyes out? What route has offered him the most healing as a victim of violent crime?<

Perhaps that particular individual is perfectly happy that the person that wrongfully blinded him is free, but most of the rest of us would rather that those who rape deaf mothers-of-three be jailed. Such people are a threat to society and locking them up protects society and other persons vulnerable to their depradations. They ought to be punished through denial of their liberty and if they can be reformed additionally, well and good.

>"Those other prisoners have been convicted for serious offenses also. They are not protesting over 'conditions' or overcrowding -this is merely the cause you choose to believe. "

These prionsers have responded collecitvely, it's not perfect but it's a start and an improvemen o hte privatised reponses of shooting up or suicide. It's a cry of despair and for help..it has been met with a deafening silence from civil society "the left" etc in Dublin thus far.<

Are you retarded or something? Can't you see that these riots have absolutely nothing to do with overcrowding but are in fact the result of seizures of contraband, including drugs? They aren't heroes fighting for better conditions, they are criminal filth attempting the force the Governor to surreptitiously re-introduce the previous lax regime in the prison, for the sake of peace. I hope Lonergan has the courage to face them down.

>"What sort of life do I want to live? One of peace and security: criminals are locked up, with stiff penalties for violent assault and sexual offenses."

Bob you do not live in a society and economy based on peace and justice in which people occaionally divert and offend from the mainstream, offend against and end up in prison if caught.

The first night I spent in a max prison. My cellmate observed "People will stop robbing banks when banks stop robbing people!" This is prophetic insight into the nature of our society. There is wholesale and retail crime. Wholesale crime is commited by those born with the birthright. Wholesale theft, killing and dealing is undertaken by governments and corporations serviced by the military and protected by the law. Most people I have met in my two years in custody in six countries haven't been inside for rebelling against these high crimes of capitalism. They have been in for micing the high crimes and conforming to the ethics of capitalism without having the birthright of the Bushes and Cheyneys et. al. thus carrying out retail versions of their crimes.<

Jesus wept. Everything leads back to Bush for you, doesn't it? Most of us aren't as US-centric as you are. I have no problem locking up so-called white collar criminals, but I am far more anxious about violent criminals and sex offenders which comprise the vast majority of the prison population. Not everybody born into a disadvantaged background commits crime, blinds youngsters or rapes women. Not everyone born poor robs pubs and then shoots their owner's leg off (poor Charlie Chawke). Just because there are people at large you believe ought to be locked up doesn't mean we should either release or dispense lenient sentences to, violent criminals.

>"Prison is a perfectly legitimate means of guaranteeing citizens' security through removing from the general populace persons of a violent disposition who have committed serious crimes. It is perfectly legitimate to deprive people of their freedom (in lieu of retaliation or reprisal) and so punish them when they have committed crimes. This is the primary rationale behind prison, rehabilitation is always the secondary (or tertiary) aim."

Prison is many things Bob - one thing it is increasingly becoming is a profit driven industry. Like any industry it lies about its product and what it can do for you and society.<

More incomprehensible garbage. Perhaps there are privately-run prisons in the US, but that is not the case here. Besides, what has that got to do with the rioters in Mountjoy? Absolutely nothing!! You are attempting to question the validity of incarceration for crime, methinks. Are you serious?

>"But their welfare is well behind that of patients on hospital trolleys and their 'rights' have largely been forfeited because of their behaviour. Society accepts this -excepts for a few nutters. But people like you are -and always will be -the extreme minority."

Didn't know I was in popularity contest Bob. If you keep running with the ignorance you've got and the popular prejudices that abound, you'll do well in the popularity stakes!<

Of course it's a popularity contest, that's democracy. You're the one that ignorant: woefully uninformed and in complete denial. Your waffling about G.W. Bush and D. Cheney has absolutely no relevance to this discussion, but you threw it in there. Meanwhile, in Ireland the switchboards of Newstalk and FM 104 the Adrian Kennedy Show are clogged with ordinary Dubliners expressing their disgust at the prison riots and contempt for the prisoners. We don't care about rapists and violent criminals that blind innocent people over here, you can take your "solidarity" and shove it up your h... well, you know where.

author by Ciaronpublication date Sat Jul 19, 2008 20:49Report this post to the editors



"Perhaps that particular individual is perfectly happy that the person that wrongfully blinded him is free,"

That individual Bob - Richard Moore - could teach a lot of us about how to deal seriously with the roots of crime - move on from a doomed cycle of vengeance and scapegoating. He doesn't dovetail into your prejudices and lynch mob mentality so you brush him aside.

"but most of the rest of us would rather that those who rape deaf mothers-of-three be jailed.

Such people are a threat to society and locking them up protects society and other persons vulnerable to their depradations."

Bob you seem to know as much about rape as you do about prisons, very little. Most rapes go unreported, of the ones that are reported very few end in convictions and imprisonment. If you are serious about tackling the serious, and common offence, of rape in our society, you're going to have to do a better than locking up the few convicted of the offence. Putting them all in the same prison environment - offering them very little opportunity to confront their offensive behavior and then unleashing them with no follow up is not helpful - this is the case in Dublin's sex offender jail presenty. The house arrest experiment by religious orders with offenders (whatever their jail sentence) is an interesting experiment. House arrest to stop an offence seems reasonable to me.

"Are you retarded or something? Can't you see that these riots have absolutely nothing to do with overcrowding but are in fact the result of seizures of contraband, including drugs? They aren't heroes fighting for better conditions, they are criminal filth attempting the force the Governor to surreptitiously re-introduce the previous lax regime in the prison, for the sake of peace. I hope Lonergan has the courage to face them down."

Bob both the Prisoner Officers Association and the warden stated last weekend the mini riot was die to overcrowding.

Bob you are retarded in the true sense of the word by your lack of experience and education regarding prisons. Getting your information and opinion from the shock jocks of Dublin's talk back radio hardly rates as a serious education on the issue

"Jesus wept. Everything leads back to Bush for you, doesn't it? Most of us aren't as US-centric as you are.

Bob you live in a colony of the U.S. Your economy and foreign policy and soon your prison policy are set in D.C. So it's probably worth examination. Your government provides the Irish army and garda to protect the most significant refueling base for U.S. troop movement to an illegal invasion of Iraq - the multiple murders, rapes and theft that have accompanied that in the past five years. Only your racism - that Iraqi life and rape victims don't count - could dismiss this. Only your class prejudices and colonial sycophancy could see Bush as anything but a criminal of the highest order. But I guess you prefer the hysteria of the lynch mob and the soft targets on the lowest rung of social class to confront.

"I have no problem locking up so-called white collar criminals, but I am far more anxious about violent criminals and sex offenders which comprise the vast majority of the prison population. Not everybody born into a disadvantaged background commits crime, blinds youngsters or rapes women. Not everyone born poor robs pubs and then shoots their owner's leg off (poor Charlie Chawke). Just because there are people at large you believe ought to be locked up doesn't mean we should either release or dispense lenient sentences to, violent criminals."

Its the tickle down theory Bob, these are the criminal values set at the top of society why are you surprised when they are duplicated at the bottom? Prison doesn't work Bob, it's a conveyor belt from prison to poverty to prison. This is my observation of 30 years of working with the homeless and prisoners. Don't trust me have a chat to Fr. Peter McVery SJ.

"More incomprehensible garbage. Perhaps there are privately-run prisons in the US, but that is not the case here. Besides, what has that got to do with the rioters in Mountjoy? Absolutely nothing!! You are attempting to question the validity of incarceration for crime, methinks. Are you serious?"

I'm very serious Bob. It's only incomprehensible because you fail, or unwilling, to comprehend the big picture. You might want to look at why? Ireland trails behind and duplicates British policy in nearly every area. Privatisation of British, U.S., Australian, New Zealand jails is powering along. There's money in them thar hills!

Group 4 has been bought by Wakkenhut who run everything from outback gulags for refugees in the Australian desert to prisoner movements in Britain. Only a matter of time before they get a foothold here.

"Of course it's a popularity contest, that's democracy."

What a joke. Vote on the Lisbon Treaty until you come up with the right answer Bob! If anything this pretty awful version of representative democracy is a beauty contest every 4 or 5 years. Most people know it's a joke and don't take it seriously enough to be involved. Most people in Ireland presently identify as passive consumers rather than active citizens.

"You're the one that ignorant: woefully uninformed and in complete denial. Your waffling about G.W. Bush and D. Cheney has absolutely no relevance to this discussion, but you threw it in there. Meanwhile, in Ireland the switchboards of Newstalk and FM 104 the Adrian Kennedy Show are clogged with ordinary Dubliners expressing their disgust at the prison riots and contempt for the prisoners. We don't care about rapists and violent criminals that blind innocent people over here, you can take your "solidarity" and shove it up your h... well, you know where."

Bob, Cheney and Bush set foreign policy in Ireland and they set the economy. They are more significant to how Irish society is sructured then ther FF/FG stooges. See the sycophantic imperial tithe of the bowl of Shamrocks served up at the White House every St. Patricks Day...says a lot

If you'e going to get your opinions from highly censored and controlled Irish media that hardly rates as anti-venom to ignorance or a serious education. Hard to know why you've started trolling on indymedia.

author by Bob CLementspublication date Mon Jul 21, 2008 17:38Report this post to the editors

>"but most of the rest of us would rather that those who rape deaf mothers-of-three be jailed. Such people are a threat to society and locking them up protects society and other persons vulnerable to their depradations."

Bob you seem to know as much about rape as you do about prisons, very little. Most rapes go unreported, of the ones that are reported very few end in convictions and imprisonment. If you are serious about tackling the serious, and common offence, of rape in our society, you're going to have to do a better than locking up the few convicted of the offence.<
Locking up some sex offenders is infinitely better than locking up none at all.

>"Are you retarded or something? Can't you see that these riots have absolutely nothing to do with overcrowding but are in fact the result of seizures of contraband, including drugs? They aren't heroes fighting for better conditions, they are criminal filth attempting the force the Governor to surreptitiously re-introduce the previous lax regime in the prison, for the sake of peace. I hope Lonergan has the courage to face them down."

Bob both the Prisoner Officers Association and the warden stated last weekend the mini riot was die to overcrowding.

Bob you are retarded in the true sense of the word by your lack of experience and education regarding prisons. Getting your information and opinion from the shock jocks of Dublin's talk back radio hardly rates as a serious education on the issue<
No. According to the Irish Prison Service..."the disturbance resulted from dissatisfaction with a new regime of visitor searches which have resulted in a greatly reduced flow of contraband, including drugs, reaching inmates."

>"Jesus wept. Everything leads back to Bush for you, doesn't it? Most of us aren't as US-centric as you are.

Bob you live in a colony of the U.S. Your economy and foreign policy and soon your prison policy are set in D.C. So it's probably worth examination. Your government provides the Irish army and garda to protect the most significant refueling base for U.S. troop movement to an illegal invasion of Iraq - the multiple murders, rapes and theft that have accompanied that in the past five years. Only your racism - that Iraqi life and rape victims don't count - could dismiss this. Only your class prejudices and colonial sycophancy could see Bush as anything but a criminal of the highest order. But I guess you prefer the hysteria of the lynch mob and the soft targets on the lowest rung of social class to confront.<
I'm actually laughing at this deranged drivel you have posted! You know nothing about me, I'm from a lower-income background myself but have acquired an education and job. I don't go around blaming other people (GW Bush!!), but instead work. So your pathetic drivel about 'class prejudice' is completely irrelevant, as is my supposed 'racism'. That comment probably ought to be deleted really, but that's not likely to happen is it?

You have know reason to believe that our prison policy is decided in Washington DC and whether or not Ireland has any responsibility (moral or otherwise) with regard to the Invasion of Iraq is entirely irrelevant to this issue. Although I can understand that it is all you think about, day and night and are incapable of discussing anything for very long without referencing it. Get out more.

>"I have no problem locking up so-called white collar criminals, but I am far more anxious about violent criminals and sex offenders which comprise the vast majority of the prison population. Not everybody born into a disadvantaged background commits crime, blinds youngsters or rapes women. Not everyone born poor robs pubs and then shoots their owner's leg off (poor Charlie Chawke). Just because there are people at large you believe ought to be locked up doesn't mean we should either release or dispense lenient sentences to, violent criminals."

Its the tickle down theory Bob, these are the criminal values set at the top of society why are you surprised when they are duplicated at the bottom? Prison doesn't work Bob, it's a conveyor belt from prison to poverty to prison. This is my observation of 30 years of working with the homeless and prisoners. Don't trust me have a chat to Fr. Peter McVery SJ.<
Nonsense. More bewildered, confused thinking from the liberals. You are entirely unwilling to address the issue of violent crime and sex offenders and instead deflect attention to supposed white collar crime. Most ordinary working class people are more anxious to incarcerate dangerous criminals than people like Owen O'Callaghan and Frank Dunlop. Why? Because they are the ones that might end up living next door to a recently-released Leroy Dumbrell -and they would rather they hadn't. Hence the public mood towards violent crime.

My only problem is we don't have enough prison places.

>"Of course it's a popularity contest, that's democracy."

What a joke. Vote on the Lisbon Treaty until you come up with the right answer Bob! If anything this pretty awful version of representative democracy is a beauty contest every 4 or 5 years. Most people know it's a joke and don't take it seriously enough to be involved. Most people in Ireland presently identify as passive consumers rather than active citizens.<
It's a free country and nothing is stopping people of like mind with yourself from standing for public office. The simple fact is, nobody would vote for SWP/SP/WSM/ISM/WP or whatever fringe left group you support. They are not deluded, they simply know enough not to vote for people of your particular ideological bent!

Deal.

>"You're the one that ignorant: woefully uninformed and in complete denial. Your waffling about G.W. Bush and D. Cheney has absolutely no relevance to this discussion, but you threw it in there. Meanwhile, in Ireland the switchboards of Newstalk and FM 104 the Adrian Kennedy Show are clogged with ordinary Dubliners expressing their disgust at the prison riots and contempt for the prisoners. We don't care about rapists and violent criminals that blind innocent people over here, you can take your "solidarity" and shove it up your h... well, you know where."

Bob, Cheney and Bush set foreign policy in Ireland and they set the economy. They are more significant to how Irish society is sructured then ther FF/FG stooges. See the sycophantic imperial tithe of the bowl of Shamrocks served up at the White House every St. Patricks Day...says a lot

If you'e going to get your opinions from highly censored and controlled Irish media that hardly rates as anti-venom to ignorance or a serious education. Hard to know why you've started trolling on indymedia.<
You aren't the one really to start talking about 'censorship', eh??

author by Ciaron - Catholic Worker/Plowsharespublication date Mon Jul 21, 2008 21:18Report this post to the editors

"Get out more."

Bob today I did get out.

On my lunch break from the job you don't think I have I popped over to the demonstration outside Government Buildings about the EU Prez making Ireland vote again on Lisbon. I was detained by 2 Garda inspectors and a garda for my trouble. My young companion had his bag searched. Finding nothing, lots of personal questions invasive our privacy were being fired at us. And you wonder why people don't participate in active citizenship! Maybe it's civil liberties, rather than my job, which is non-existent in Celtic Tiger Ireland? (I know it might impress the boss but) Having a job doesn't mean you have to give up thinking and being critical Bob!

"Nonsense. More bewildered, confused thinking from the liberals. You are entirely unwilling to address the issue of violent crime and sex offenders and instead deflect attention to supposed white collar crime. Most ordinary working class people are more anxious to incarcerate dangerous criminals than people like Owen O'Callaghan and Frank Dunlop. Why? Because they are the ones that might end up living next door to a recently-released Leroy Dumbrell -and they would rather they hadn't. Hence the public mood towards violent crime."

Bob you know how to hurt a guy! I (and has at a guess Fr. McVery SJ) are radical christians not liberals. Public perception of crime priorities has a lot lot to do with who owns the media and what they focus on. In Britain, crime has gone down, prison numbers have gone up while the government has contributed to killing 1 million Iraqis and destroying social infrastructure to sustain life in Iraq. British prison have run out of room under New Labor neo-liberalism there.

"My only problem is we don't have enough prison places."

Well then you're having a a fight in an empty house in terms of the concerns of this initial post, you share the Mountjoy prisoners, the P.O.A. and warden's position that there is not enough space in Mountjoy for 600 prisoners.

"It's a free country and nothing is stopping people of like mind with yourself from standing for public office. The simple fact is, nobody would vote for SWP/SP/WSM/ISM/WP or whatever fringe left group you support. They are not deluded, they simply know enough not to vote for people of your particular ideological bent!"

Bob to save you guessing - I don't vote it only encourages them! "When you choose the lesser of two evils you soon forget your choosing evil!" Amonn Hennacy WW1 draft resister and prisoner.

My ideological/theological bent is radical christian ("don't cast the first stone"...don't hand the state the stone to cast for you.)
www.peaceontrial.com
www.catholicworker.org

"You aren't the one really to start talking about 'censorship', eh??"

Well I guess I'll defend your right to express your stupidity. Viva Voltaire

In this discourse I have suggested proactive nonviolent action by civil society as a form of crime prevention...to stop the crimes against prisoners and staff that will surely unfold at Mountjoy when 600 into 420 won't go.

You have beat the drum of prejudice to incite crime, that will surely unfold with your attitude and public apathy. Probably best to leave it there. Methinks.

Here's some websites of former Australian prisoners who have done a lot more time, have given a lot more thought to the issue and have a lot my response than my good self.

Brett Collins
http://www.justiceaction.org.au/

Debbie Kilroy
http://www.sistersinside.com.au/

"The poor tell us who we are,
The prophets tell us who we could be,
So we hide the poor,
And kill the prophets."
Phil Berrigan

Related Link: http://ciaron.wordpress.com/
author by Abolih Prisonspublication date Sat Aug 23, 2008 06:54Report this post to the editors

Hi Friends,

Here is the Report of the Twelfth International Conference on Penal Abolition (ICOPA XII) held in London in July 2008.
The designed Report is a pdf(1.6mb) downloadable from http://tinyurl.com/6kbtcw or http://www.justiceaction.org.au

Related Link: http://tinyurl.com/6kbtcw
author by MICHAEL XXX - NEIN ORGANISATIONpublication date Sun Aug 24, 2008 05:23Report this post to the editors

Mountjoy prison is not a nice place to reside within. I WAS there as a result of the scourge of Family Law. I have 2 say i was treated by the residents
with the greatest of respect for the crime of seperation oirish style. No harm was ever bestowed upon my person even by the 'screws' as they seemed to realize it could happen to any man who has been set up ,as i had been.
Nope ,i will say nothing negative in regard to my short shocking stay as i have put it behind me now.
So many thanks to all concerned in Mountjoy and Thanks for the memories.

author by frankpublication date Mon Aug 25, 2008 19:21Report this post to the editors

i find the medias perception of mountjoy very confusing. one weeks its a "victorian hellhole" and the next its a "five star hotel"with its very own mictchelan star chef. one week the "lags" have very own "personel phone service"  running "gangland" the next week its a rat invested dump.i mean i dont know what to make of the place at all. there are some very confusing messages coming from the media, espeacially the red labels.for one thing when that guy "john daly" "liveline" got out he didn't live very long. i think his comments on rte "liveline2 in general where that crime reporter paul williams " was a dirty liar" and "murderer". no one knows if this is what led to his death, but in fairness the adverse publicity and the notoriety of that phone call did not help is predicament.anyway the media perception of the irish jail system is a joke anyone with a mobile in jail is a gangster running his drug empireor ordering a hit.not that i agree with mobie phone iin prison but immate are entitled to a phone call each day by the officail lines why couldn't they run there "gangster empires" from these communications?.i dont know maybe there is a right wing agenda trying to control what goes on in prison i;m sure the majority of the population would love a mobile phone in jail.not for the purpose of running "gangland" but maybe to say goddnight to a girl friend or wife, or maybe even to talk to there kids at night. who knows all i know is the the majority of the population of prison are i n for minor offences not connected to ganglandie roadtraffic, public order, petty theft, drug related offences, and some serving life.. there is a host of reasons why each individual are there.who knows but to be honest i think the red labels are full of hyped up crap and should be taken with pinch of salt considering none of the have been there.

author by Ciaron - Catholic Worker/ Ploughsharespublication date Thu Aug 28, 2008 13:58Report this post to the editors

Although agreeing with Gerry O'Carroll' statement...

"However, conditions in Mountjoy Prison are Dickensian and deplorably inadequate. Because of the overcrowding and slopping out, it is like a tinderbox or pressure cooker waiting to explode"
(are you listening Bob Clements?)

I would like to take issue with other points raised in his (Evening Herald 27/8/08) article "No Chance of Proper Punishment as Chaotic Prison System Runs Riot".

Gerry's article displays and deals with a picture of Charlotte Mulhall jokingly holding a knife against the throat of inmate Denis Gibney (both appear to be co-operative in the photo, in what appears to be a posed consensual act. Whether this "joke" was the idea of the photographer, or those posing, we don't know. A cake with a candle , not mentioned in Gerry's article, is held by a third pair of hands towards Mulhill at the base of the photo.)

Gerry quotes and my comments follow....

"In a chilling mockery of the murder of Farah Swaleh Noor, a smiling Charlotte was shown holding a knife against the throat of inmate Deerk Gibney."

Where is the evidence that Charlotte was thinking of Farah Swaleh Noor when posing for this photo. The cake with the candle might be more of a clue what this event was about! Does this mean every time William Burroughs went on his private pistol range he was thinking of the wife he shot in the head in Mexico?

"They say a picture tells a thousands words and this is sure one photograph that proves that statement"

What I say is that the editorial spin put on a picture tells us a lot about the politics of the editors of yous and other media.

For example I was depicted in holding a recently returned Plowshare hammer aloft outside Shannon airport recently (20/7/08). The same photo above the same (variously edited) article written by the same journalist (Pat Flynn) ran in the both "The Star" and "The Daily Mail".

The Star heading ran "Protesters Get Back Tool that Smashed U.S. Jet" Underscored with "Shannon Protestor: Ciaron O'Reilly of the Pitstop Ploughshares with the hammer" (No drama, that sounds quite reassuring to the general public! - the reasonable return of property to an unconvicted man,). Meanwhile "The Daily Mail" heading runs "Justice takes a knock as Jet Vandals get Hammers Back" Underscored with "Peace Weapon: Ciaran O'Reilly with one of the weapons used on in the attack on the U.S. Navy's Aircraft" (The message implied - What's the world coming to? I'm referred to as a "vandal" although I was not convicted of any offense in relation to the incident. The tools are referred to as "weapons".)

"In the latest riots, a number of prison officers were injured when trying to enforce a stricter security regime"

The media reported at the time that both prison officers and prisoners were injured and hospitalised not in the initial occupation of the recreation area - but following the staff's decision to retake the area by force.

I have seen a 2 week prisoner occupation end nonviolently in Boggo Rd. Jail '88 and I have seen violence escalate in same and other jails at other times when staff rejected further negotiation. These are staff tactical decisions. Unless the mainstream media initially misled us, what you had at Mountjoy initially was a stand off, the prisoners in a defensive position when the staff went on the offensive to end the protest. That is when the violence/"riot" began, no?

""We've had the infamous phone call of convicted armed robber John Daly, who engaged in a tirade on Joe Duffy's Liveline from a cell in Portlaiose prison."

I'm not familiar with the nature of John Daly's input into Liveline. If it was about prison reform it was heroic. If it was only about his own case and self interest it was negligent in his own terms of reference. I do know that whenever those without power speak out form the bottom (in this case form a prison cell) those with the privelege of power, wherever ranked on the food chain, will always perceive and define it as a "tirade"

........Gerry then goes on in the next paragraph to assume that open media access to prisoners is somehow the same as prisoners having personal mobiles to carry on criminality from prison.

"Hundreds of mobile phones have been seized during searches of prisons around the country...."

THIS LINK BETWEEN THE ISSUES OF MEDIA ACCESS AND PERSONAL MOBILES IS A HUGE MISTAKE OR CONSCIOUS SCAM..................

In the United States (where I served 13 months in prison for disarming a B52 Bomber) there is open media access to prisoners. I was interviewed and photographed in Catskill County Jail by a guy who covered the fall of Saigon in '75 who wasn't allowed to go to do his job in U.S. ally Saudi in pre-Gulf War 1 build up because he was Jewish. So he got to come to Catskill County and interview me and my co-defendant. I did a number of interviews with journalists over the phone from Louissianna Fed Pen and in a Texas County Jail. Why shouldn't the media have access to prisoners. The prison authorities deny it in Ireland, U.K., Australia and it protects jail from the public scrutiny such institutions should be under when you have people in such power over others.

Why do you think is a bright idea to isolate prisoners from every aspect of society for years and then unleash them on the streets where their only friends have to be from the institutional criminal subculture of jail?

THE LINK BETWEEN DRUGS AND REBELLION IS A HUGE MISTAKE OR A CONSCIOUS SCAM.........

"Also, it is well known that prisons are awash with drugs. It's proving almost an impossible task for prison officers who face violent rebellion form inmates when they try to stamp out the use of phones."

I would suggest the major reason that Mountjoy hasn't gone up yet, as you predict it will, is due to the role of heroin in the system (both personal and institutional) I direct you to the recent reflections of the warden of Strangeways, Manchester, at the time it went up. He makes the observation, tat many of us ex-prisoners (I'm basically a political prisoner between jobs so I hardly refer to myself as "ex") know.....that " a prison culture of the basis of collective action (riot or NVDA) no longer exists due to heroin!" Heroin has destroyed the prison soldiarity culture that existed as late as the late '80's and was the basis for riots from Strangeways to Attica and many a jailhouse besides....and also for more creative NVDA by prisoners. That prison culture that I experienced in the ealry '80's wasn't always pretty but it was solid. How much prison authorities allow heroin into the system to militate against prison solidarity would vary form institution to institution, I don't know enough about Mountjoy (being deprived by 06 acquittal of the opportunity) to comment on this specific.

"A respected American penologist once said that people go to prison as punishment, not for punishment, Looking at this photograph of a smiling Charlotte Mulhall, no one would believe that Irtish prisons offer any form of punishment whatsoever"

I'll end by saying I'm not going to judge Gerry O'Carrol's motives (as he has judged Charlotte Mulhall posed smile) for how he wrote this article. Maybe his motives are malicious, I don't know. Or maybe he is understandably ignorant of the nature of imprisonment and he is at the beginning of a journey of enlightenment. At least, unlike "the left", he is addressing the issue of the open sore in the middle of this city that is Mountjoy.

In the Christian understanding; one's liberty is second only to one life in the gifts that are bestowed.
This society metes out the deprivation of liberty AS punishment not imprisonment FOR punishment..

If you have spent one hour, one day, one week, one month, one year....deprived of your liberty you know it AS punishment. Until you do you risk being clueless when casting opinions on it.

author by maxipublication date Fri Aug 29, 2008 01:34Report this post to the editors

When people are sent to Mountjoy They have been judged by the court system..

Lest we forget ,if the journalists feel the sentence is inadiquate for the crime in which a person has been found to be guilty of ,the journalists
have carte blanche on the guilty person for as long as is deemed neccasary , And by their HAND can in fact give a life sentence to anyone they
wish to pursue..... ITS KNOWN AS PUBLIC JUSTICE TO US AND MENTAL TORTURE TO THOSE AT THE JOURNALISTS'S MERCY.

author by A couple of questions?publication date Fri Aug 29, 2008 07:19Report this post to the editors

"Gerry's article displays and deals with a picture of Charlotte Mulhall jokingly holding a knife against the throat of inmate Denis Gibney (both appear to be co-operative in the photo, in what appears to be a posed consensual act. Whether this "joke" was the idea of the photographer, or those posing, we don't know. A cake with a candle , not mentioned in Gerry's article, is held by a third pair of hands towards Mulhill at the base of the photo.)"

I would like to know who took the photo with the knife and the (unmentioned) birthday? cake
-was it staff?
-did they get paid by the media for the photo?
To me
-the male looks a little stoned,
the woman looks uncomfortable in the photo.

Number of comments per page
  
 
© 2001-2014 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy