Amanda Duffy was admitted to Tallaght A&E at 4.30pm on Wednesday afternoon. Her local GP had advised her to seek urgent treatment as it was suspected that she was suffering from internal bleeding.
The Dublin mother endured a gruelling, six-hour wait as a convoy of prisoners from Cloverhill were fast-tracked through to the emergency department, overtaking dozens of sick people.
A statement released by Tallaght Hospital claimed that the emergency department remained in operation despite the influx of prisoners.
However, patients awaiting medical treatment insisted that the A&E department was in virtual lockdown while the prisoner’s received VIP care.
Speaking in the hospital on Wednesday, Amanda described her ordeal as “disgusting”.
“In this country you get more respect for being a criminal. My blood pressure has only been checked once since I got here, there are no updates.
“I’m in constant pain and now they [rioting prisoners] just walk in and they’ll be home in time for their dinner. Right now, I am bleeding internally.”
Despite complaining of crippling pain, the mum was forced to endure hours of agony before she was examined, as the understaffed hospital members struggled to keep up with demand.
The heavy security presence in Tallaght Hospital was evident as our reporter witnessed scores of heavily-armed prison officials and guards escorting injured prisoners to medical rooms.
In total, 11 prisoners were injured and treated in both Tallaght and St James’s Hospital for minor injuries. While the prisoners received – for the most part – minor medical treatment, some sick and ailing patients were left waiting hours from treatment.
Dubliner Lisa Daly spoke of her outrage as her 17-year-old daughter, who complained of vomiting and a rapid pulse, faced a seven-hour wait.
Speaking from Tallaght A&E, the concerned mum said: “When we got here we were told to go to James’s Hospital because the wait would be too long. I am this close to going home now, I’ve been here close to seven hours.
“Why not be a criminal? They get the best of everything. We are sat here and they’re inside laughing.”
For Linda Sweeney the scenario was similar, as the mum-of-four endured an eight-hour wait with a suspected broken foot.
The care worker said: “I have been here for close to eight hours and while I have been waiting prisoners who have gone on a rampage have been attended to. I think it’s disgraceful that they should be given VIP treatment.
“It proves that being honest and decent in this country doesn’t get you anywhere. I feel like sending my hospital charges to the Government so they can cover my costs.
“If it wasn’t so serious you would say it was comical. One of the prisoners came in on a stretcher and walked out with a bandage on his hand. Another prisoner was released with just a bandage on his foot. It’s disgraceful.
“When I was eventually seen the doctors were amazing, they really looked after me. You can see that they are under pressure, but it’s a disgrace that they have to work under such conditions.”