Snack box used to get inmates down from Cloverhill prison roof

Cloverhill prison
Cloverhill prison

As part of the negotiations last week food in the form of chicken and chips was used to persuade prisoners to come down off the roof.

A riot in the prison last week led to two prisoners escaping onto the roof, where they spent up to 12 hours before eventually coming down.

An Irish Prison Service spokesperson told the Sunday World that food was, as is standard practice, used as part of the negotiation process, with the priority being the safety of the two prisoners and the staff of the prison.

Chicken and chips, the traditional snack box, was used in this case to entice the prisoners down and they came down voluntarily.

Eleven prisoners were taken to hospital and tens of thousands of euro worth of damage was caused when the riot broke out at the Dublin prison last week.

Most seriously, 21-year-old Walli Ullah Safi was tortured by inmates in the yard of the remand prison.

His face was sliced, his arm was broken and he was severely beaten.

Mr Safi arrived in the country two-weeks-ago and was found wandering the M7 by gardai.

He had no English, no identification and no idea what country he was in.

A non-national must produce on demand a passport or ID and failure to do so is a criminal offence.

As a result, he appeared in court and was subsequently imprisoned.

He was described as being quiet and inoffensive by sources.

The statement from Mr Safi’s legal representative, Conal Boyce, reads:

“He (Mr Safi) had travelled a distance of 6,000 odd kilometres to get to this country in the hope of finding a safe haven and unfortunately for him he found himself further brutalised within our system.

I have no idea why this began but I am certain that there was no justification for it and it has to be said that my client at no stage in any way contributed to his assault and the treatment he received from his fellow inmates.

He suffered, as I understand it, a broken arm, a facial wound and some other injuries and is of course deeply traumatised by the experience.  

However, he has been in receipt of treatment.  

He was triaged in house and was subsequently brought to Hospital where he was treated to a greater extent for his injuries.  He has since been returned to Cloverhill where he has full access to the medical facility and is, as I understand it, in a high support unit with access to the Psychological team.   .

Mr. Safi will remain in custody for the time being but I am very hopeful that he will in the short term begin to realise that there is more to Ireland than the brutality he was subjected to yesterday and that we are a humane and caring Society.”

Gardaí are conducting a separate investigation into the riot as a criminal incident.