The first public passing out parade of prison officers takes place at the training unit in Mountjoy Prison.
At the ceremony Minister for Justice Gerry Collins inspects a guard of honour of the new prison officers. The even was seen as a morale boosting exercise and to increase recruits to the prison service. Addressing the fifty-seven new prison officers Mr Collins refers to the controversy over the establishment of the new Loughan House in County Cavan, an institution for young offenders.
I have no misgivings whatsoever about the ability of prison officers to operate this new venture successfully.
While the lower age group present specific problems and challenges, Minister Collins is confident that the specially trained officers can respond fully to these challenges.
Leaders of the Prison Officers Association remained unimpressed by the Minister's words and their members have threatened not to work at Loughan House until a new deal for prison officers is put in place.
They want better conditions, extra training and more pay.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 5 May 1978. The reporter is Dave O'Donoghue.