Celiac.com 09/28/2015 - The Irish Daily Star is reporting that more than two dozen inmates at the country's top security Portlaoise Prison are set to protest prison authorities' refusal to give them gluten-free bread and better food.

RIRA boss Michael McKevitt is said to be leading prisoners' gluten-free food protest. Photo: CC--searchranaidhe1The inmates, including RIRA boss Michael McKevitt, say prison officials have broken an agreement to supply gluten-free bread as part of the prison diet.

The availability of gluten-free bread seems to be an issue in what sounds like a larger complaint about the quality of food at the prison. Prisoners can purchase better food at the prison shop, at what prisoners claim are astronomical prices.

According to the Daily Star, prisoners have begun stockpiling rubbish in preparation for a "dirty protest" in a bid to get the authorities to change their mind. The Prison Services have declined to comment. There has been no word about a direct connection to celiac disease in regards to the prisoners' demand for gluten-free bread.

Earlier this week, republican prisoners group Cogus issued a statement highlighted food as one of the prisoners' main complaints.

While that particular statement made no mention of gluten free bread, it read in part:

"The food has seriously deteriorated over the last number of months and in general is sub-standard, at times unfit for human consumption, comprising of basic small portions which are totally inadequate."

"This has resulted in men having to purchase food with the little money they have through the prison shop which charges extortionate prices. Numerous attempts have been made by the prisoners to resolve this issue but to no avail."

Stay tuned for more developments.

What do you think? Are prisoners entitled to gluten-free bread?

Read more at: The Irish Daily Star

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