asked the Chief Secretary fur Ireland if a joint petition was recently presented to the General Prisons Board from the officers of the Mountjoy Male Prison praying that they be exempt from the position of having to stoke a large boiler while performing night duty; if he will state the Board's reply; if he will state the meaning of having officers at this particular prison examined by the medical officer, and if stoking boilers is part of a prison warder's duty, seeing that in his appointment no mention whatever is made with reference to this duty; 1484W whether the Treasury have long since sanctioned a sum of money to be paid to a competent person for performing this duty; whether this duty is being performed at any other of our Irish prisons by warders on the permanent staff while performing night duty in turn; if he will now take the necessary steps to see that officers will no longer be asked to perform this task of stoking; and will he see that in future any other petition which may be presented to the General Prisons Board will meet with the consideration it deserves?
§ Mr. SAMUELS
A joint request by a number of warders on the staff of Mount-joy Prison was recently made to the General Prisons Board for exemption from the duty of stoking the boiler. This work is necessary for the heating of the prison and the preservation of the health of the prisoners. It is part of the duty of a warder, and has been satisfactorily done by the permanent warders of the prison for the past fifteen years. The Board do not consider they would be justified in employing a person other than a warder for performing this work nor has the Treasury assigned any funds for such a purpose. On receipt of the petition it was decided that the prison doctor should in future examine any officer who might complain that the performance of this duty was injuriously affecting his health. In other local prisons night duty is done by temporary warders who have been substituted for permanent warders and these men attend to the fires, but this course is not practicable at Mountjoy Prison.