An urgent appeal to abstinence education group “Pure In Heart” to visit Portlaoise Prison

Screen shot 2014-03-10 at 11.22.30To whom it concerns,


My name is Henry Proter. I’m an associate of Mr. Tom Colgan who works with the chaplain’s service in Portlaoise. The staff here is committed to providing a comfortable, safe environment in which inmates can reflect on their crimes while learning new skills. It is hoped that these new skills will help the inmates to make a positive contribution to society upon their release. As in all walks of life there are a few bad apples who don’t “get” it. A friend recommended your service. He said you specialized in teaching abstinence in schools so maybe ye’ve a few tricks up your sleeves to help myself and Tom out.


Screen shot 2014-03-10 at 11.22.57These “problem prisoners” (a.k.a. “The Bad Apple Gang”, a.k.a. “The Fuck You Five” as they’re known to the “screws” here) are all located in the maximum security hanger in the prison’s basement known as “Alcatraz”. Alcatraz consists of five glass boxes where prisoners with a history of anti-social behaviour are kept from the greater prison populace. They get exercise but they’re in those glass boxes for upwards of 22 hours a day so they can get a bit cranky. The room itself is very impressive and whenever Governor Willie Connolly is giving a tour he traditionally ends it in Alcatraz.


Screen shot 2014-03-10 at 11.23.06Usually when Governor Connolly pops down on his own the detainees of Alcatraz are are nice as pie. However in recent months, whenever Governor Connolly has brought down a guest, the Bad Apple Gang see this as a cue to start going “at themselves”. What started out as a barely tolerated bit of fun has quickly escalated into an extremely distressing situation for the governor. His impromptu tours to special guests has always provided an important fundraising opportunity. It’s doubtful that anyone would find the sight of five dangerous criminals in glass cubicles performing onerous activities in unison to be impressive enough to warrant a financial contribution, contributions which are urgently needed for both facilities AND amenities. I know that your traditional remit may be schools but any assistance you could offer us would be enormously appreciated.


Many thanks,


yours etc.


Henry Porter.