Dail told solicitor allegedly asked to remove her underwear during prison visit to meet client

‘Bra set off metal detector’

Sligo News File

Mary Lou McDonald, TD, Leader, Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald referred in the Dail to what she said was “a really shocking report” in the Irish Examiner which stated that a female solicitor had made a complaint to the prison service after a male officer at Clover Hill allegedly instructed her “to remove her underwear” if she wanted to visit her client at the prison “because the underwire in her bra had set off the metal detector.”

She said: “The woman concerned has described how she felt extremely vulnerable and targeted as a woman, and how she felt humiliated to have her dignity so casually taken from her. So many things are wrong with this incident and, indeed, the Irish Prison Service’s response to it.

“In my view, this is not just a run-of-the-mill complaint to be dealt with solely within normal procedures. It warrants a wider, and very full, review of prison culture and practices to ensure this type of degrading treatment of any woman never happens again.”

It was also reported, she added, “that the woman in question later discovered a male colleague had previously visited the same client and despite the male colleague setting off the alarm three times, he was able to visit his client without any similar request being made of him.”