Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice and Equality Niall Collins TD has expressed alarm at the escape of a prisoner from the custody of the Irish Prison Service following the stabbing of two prison officers. Deputy Collins made the comments as members of An Garda Síochána and the Irish Prison Service launched a manhunt to apprehend the dangerous criminal.
Deputy Collins commented, “I am alarmed at the escape of this dangerous prisoner from the custody of the Irish Prison Service during a visit to Tallaght Hospital and I condemn his assault on two prison officers. I send my best wishes to the two brave prison officers that were injured during the escape.
“It is clear from reports that the prisoner had an accomplice to aid him escape and I hope the Gardai and Irish Prison Service are successful in apprehending all of those involved as soon as possible.
“Representative groups such as the Garda Representative Association, the Prison Officers Association and the Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association have been calling for tougher measures to be taken against those that attack frontline workers in our emergency services and prisons.
“A zero tolerance approach should be taken against those that target people serving in our emergency services and prisons. The current system needs to be reformed to discourage these sort of escapes and tougher penalties are needed to punish those that have the audacity to target those tasked with upholding the law and keeping dangerous criminals off our streets.
“Fianna Fáil published the Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill in 2012 and the key aim of the legislation was to bring about tougher sentencing to prevent assaults on members of the emergency services. Unfortunately the government did not accept our legislation at the time but I call on them to re-examine the matter in light of this disgraceful event” said Deputy Collins.