§ DR. TANNER (Cork County, Mid)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in how many prisons in Ireland are there open air exercise yards with shelter's in case of rain, and how do the ordinary prisons compare with convict prisons in Ireland. Is he aware that owing to the humidity of climate, prisoners are frequently given their two hours daily exercise in the rain, and often no exercise in consequence of no sheltered yard being provided; and whether any steps will be taken to remedy this state of things.
§ MR. ATKINSON (for Mr. G. W. Balfour)
Covered shelters are provided in the exercise yards attached to the prisons at Kilmainham, Maryborough, and Dundalk. In connection with all the large male prisons similar sheds are provided for prisoners employed at stone-breaking and other work. In the case of rain these sheds are availed of to a certain extent for shelter. There is no distinction between ordinary and convict prisons in this respect. There is no foundation for the statement in the second paragraph. In the opinion of the Prisons Board the present practice, which works satisfactorily, does not require alteration. There are, moreover, obvious objections to the erection of buildings in exercise yards where such would interfere with sunshine and the free circulation of air.
§ Dr. TANNER
Am I to understand that prisoners are not occasionally exercised in the rain, and that on very wet days they get no exercise whatsoever?
§ MR. ATKINSON
I have answered that according to my belief there is no foundation for the statement.