The Joy documentary on life in Mountjoy to air from Monday

Documentary painstakingly carves portrait of prison life among Mountjoy population

The Joy is a four-part documentary on day-to-day life for inmates at Mountjoy Prison, one of the largest facilities in Ireland and arguably the most notorious. Video: Tv3

 

The first of a four-part documentary on day-to-day life for inmates at Mountjoy Prison, one of the largest facilities in Ireland and arguably the most notorious, will air from Monday.

The Joy, in reference to the popular abbreviation, is the product of nine months intensive behind-the-scenes filming by Midas Productions, painstakingly carving a portrait of prison life among the 550 odd population.

TV3, which will screen the programme, has said it secured unprecedented access to the facility focusing on every aspect from the boardroom of governor Brian Murphy to the landings and punishment block.

“The Joy offers a compelling insight into a world seldom seen, where drugs are the common currency and violence is a fact of life, but where hope sometimes finds a foothold,” the channel said in pre-air publicity.

It is the third prison documentary from Midas Productions and executive producer Mike Keane following Life on the Inside, a two-part look at life in Wheatfield and Shelton Abbey and “Women on the Inside” focusing on the Duchas Centre.

However, The Joy is the longest of the three, made by award winning producer-director team Cleona Ní Chrualaoi and Colm Bairéad.

The first episode City Within A City sets the scene at the prison, when routine life is interrupted by a violent prisoner being moved to a specially modified cell.

While dealing with a facility nearing its capacity, governor Murphy tackles Mountjoy West “where mostly protection prisoners are housed, the massive drug problem on D-wing is getting out of control and management has a tough decision to make”.

The first episode airs on TV3 at 10pm on Monday.