The Governor of a prison in Dublin has told a judge he’s worried he’ll be putting one of his inmates in danger of getting COVID-19 if he produces him for his trial.
Following an outbreak of the virus at Cloverhill Prison, Governor Anthony Harris said the policy was to lock down the facility.
The man wasn’t produced for his trial due to what Governor Anthony Harris described today as a “serious outbreak” of COVID-19 in Cloverhill Prison.
He said the whole prison has effectively closed down, with just a small number of prisoners working in a pod for essential services like cooking and sanitisation.
There are no showers or exercise for prisoners, he said.
The accused is in a single cell and has tested negative for the virus, but Governor Harris said he couldn’t guarantee against asymptomatic prison officers infecting him while bringing him to and from the courthouse.
He said he’d look into the possibility of putting him in a bubble with staff and making sure he and everyone in close contact with him wore full PPE.
If special arrangements were made for him though, he did express some concern that other prisoners would make a case for the same.
He blamed complacency in the community for the outbreak and he said other prisons are also in a “silo mentality” in an effort to avoid the contagion effect.