HC Deb 12 August 1907 vol 180 cc785-6

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that since the 2nd July the system of performing the night duty in Mountjoy Prison has been changed, and one warder is now detailed to discharge the same duty that formerly was always carried out by two warders; whether it has been reported to the Government that there is now an extra warder on the staff since the introduction of this new method and the curtailing of a warder off the night staff; whether in future the warder who is detailed to perform night duty will be allowed off the whole day after performing this nine hours' duty, upon which he is not relieved to partake of any refreshments; and whether, in view of the number of warders who are now exempt from night duty, he will arange that they shall take their turn of night work, as they can be granted fourteen days' leave of absence at a time.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The fact is as stated in the first part of the Question. Such changes are to the advantage of the warders as lessening the amount of night duty. No extra warder has become available for duty since the change was made. Warders detailed for night duty are allowed off duty from 2 p.m. before taking up night duty, and are also off duty on the following day until 2 p.m. It is not proposed to make any change in this practice. Warders on the night duty have facilities for taking light refreshments. Certain officers holding special positions as clerks, storekeepers, and tradesmen are exempted from night duty, and it would not be desirable to alter this practice. All warders may be granted fourteen days' leave of absence.