asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland why it is not practicable to have the boilers at Mountjoy Prison stoked at night by a prisoner or by the temporary night guard, considering that at Maryborough Convict Prison, where a greater surveillance of prisoners is necessary, it is at present, and has been for years past, the practice to have the boilers stoked by a convict undergoing a life sentence; whether at Belfast Prison, where the boilers are equally as large and the responsibility as great, it has all along been found practicable to have this work performed by the temporary night guards; whether he will take the necessary steps to have the permanent staff at Mountjoy Prison relieved of this duty, it being the only prison in Ireland at which the permanent officers are engaged at this duty at night; and whether he will take steps to see that permanent officers employed at night duty are allowed the full day off after night guard so as to allow of more rest and sleep, a request which has already been asked of the General Prisons Board in a recent petition from the officers?
§ Mr. SHORTT
While the practice continues at Mountjoy Prison of having a permanent officer who is responsible for the maintenance of proper heating of the prison, he cannot be relieved of the duty referred to. The conditions at Maryborough, which is a convict prison, and at Mountjoy are entirely dissimilar. Owing to the construction of Belfast Prison, it has not been considered necessary to have a permanent officer employed on this work. In Belfast the prison is all under one roof, at Mountjoy there are two distinct prisons. In the opinion of the General Prisons Board, the existing longstanding arrangement is better both in3440W the interests of prison administration and of the officers themselves than the proposal to allow a full day off after the duty.