CORK prison had the highest number of assaults by prisoners on fellow inmates in the country last year, accounting for a quarter of such assaults across the prison system.
The number of assaults by prisoners on fellow inmates in Cork prison doubled in the past five years – but the number of assaults on staff by prisoners has fallen.
According to statistics from the Department of Justice, there were 64 assaults of prisoners on prisoners recorded in the prison last year – up from 61 the previous year.
And the number is up from 33 in 2016.
The number of assaults on prison staff was four – down from 12 the previous year, and from 15 in 2018.
The next highest number of prisoner versus prisoner assaults was in Castlerea in Roscommon, where there were 44 such incidents. The number of incidents in Castlerea has tumbled from a high of 139 such assaults in 2016.
There was a total of 250 such incidents across the entire prison estate last year, according to the statistics, provided by Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Hildegarde Naughton.
She provided the figures in response to a parliamentary question.
She said: “Any act of violence against a person is unacceptable be they a prisoner, prison officer or other staff member. Necessary supports are available to those who are the victims of such assaults.
Any criminal act carried out within our prisons, including an assault on a staff member, is reported to An Gardaí Síochána for investigation and prosecution.”