Industrial strife and a riot at Mountjoy Prison in Dublin.

When prison officers refused to comply with the introduction of a new prisoner escort system and staged a walkout, Gardaí were brought in to carry out their duties. However, on the evening of the 5 November trouble broke out at the Mountjoy Prison when about sixty prisoners refused to return to their cells after recreation. They then started a fire and the Gardaí were attacked. The army who had been patrolling the perimeter of the prison were alerted and two units of Dublin Fire Brigade were called to the scene.  

Secretary of the Prison Officers' Association (POA) PJ McEvoy called his members back to work. Garda reinforcements in riot gear came from all over the city. 

Some of the prisoners attempted to escape and made it as far as the perimeter wall.

By 11.30pm, things had quietened down and Gardaí began to leave the prison. Some went to the Mater Hospital for treatment. In total, over seventy were treated for injuries. 

The situation appeared to have returned to normal by this morning but the prison was still being manned by Gardaí. The POA claims its members were locked out when they arrived for work this morning. PJ McEvoy claims that the Department of Justice is using the situation as an excuse for open confrontation. 

We have a diabolical situation in the prison service. We have an accommodation crisis that is absolutely atrocious. We have a situation where there are prisoners that are committed to prison by the courts and who in fact don't serve a day.

While PJ McEvoy said that the POA has been promised a committee of inquiry to look at the prison service, there has been no action. He also said that the POA would hesitate to take the action to other prisons but it is a possibility. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 6 November 1983. The reporter is Mary Fanning.