Life inside Limerick Prison

first_imgNewsLocal NewsLife inside Limerick PrisonBy Alan Jacques – November 13, 2014 7847 Limerick Prison has been part of life in the city since 1821 and has always perked the curiosity of Limerick Post reporter Alan Jacques. In the first of a two-part series, he takes a fly-on-the-wall peep around the jail to catch a glimpse of what life is like on the inside.by Alan JacquesSign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up [email protected] Mandela believed that no one truly knows a nation until they have been inside its jails. A nation, he said, “should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones”.This philosophy is one that undoubtedly rings true with the staff and management of Limerick Prison. Its mission policy is ‘to provide safe and secure custody, dignity of care and rehabilitation to prisoners for safer communities’. While its vision is simply for ‘a safer community through excellence in a prison service built on respect for human dignity’.It’s a great mantra and looks impressive on the wall of the Governor’s office but is it just empty words or do the people that run the Mulgrave Street-based prison really believe and live by these words?Absolutely and unequivocally, I would argue after getting a glimpse of what daily life is really like behind its imposing walls.Ever since I was a small child I was curious about the fortress-like jail with its army turrets and soldiers carrying machine guns. Limerick Prison would capture my imagination without fail every time I passed it on family visits to relatives living up on that side of town.The soldiers with machine guns are long gone but that childhood curiosity has remained. It always fascinated me how this large, grey, imposing building could stand in the centre of the city and yet most of us know very little about what actually goes on behind its gates.So, without a criminal record, and only TV and movies to fill in the gaps, I’ve usually been guilty of letting my imagination run a muck and picturing the very worst. I’ve always imagined the skewed and violent ‘Midnight Express’ vision of life behind bars, to the fluffier and more uplifting ‘Shawshank Redemption’ version. But, I’m actually told that the hit seventies sitcom ‘Porridge’ starring Ronnie Barker is in fact, the closest to the reality of prison life. Barker’s character Norman Fletcher, you might remember, used to chuckle that his wife told neighbours that he was away “doing missionary work in Scotland”.During my recent three-hour tour of Limerick Prison, accompanied by hearty assistant governor Mark Kennedy, he confessed, “‘Porridge’ is probably the exact same thing as we do here, we’d just be a bit more modern. That show was probably the closest to the reality of prison. The environment is the same. It’s the same ranking system and there’s a bit of banter.”Despite a lifetime’s curiosity I have to admit being a little apprehensive before my visit to the prison. And my work colleagues, all experts thanks to ‘Love/Hate’, did not help matters as they playfully offered portentous safety tips like warning me to stay clear of the infamous showers.So, I was relieved to now have the image of the quick-witted and ultimately kindhearted Norman Fletcher to replace the more deranged Hannibal Lecter type fiends that filled my dreams the night before, as I entered Limerick Prison.After producing my passport as identification at the main entrance I was then ushered towards the security screening process for a full security check. “It’s just like going away on holidays,” one of the prison officer’s remarked.I was frisked, I put my keys and coins in a little tray and went through the exact same process we do at airports, only sadly, there wasn’t two weeks in the Algarve after a flight on the other end of it.After clearing security, I was met in the prison courtyard by assistant governor, Mark Kennedy, who tells me that he used to pass Limerick Prison every day on his way to school in CBS Sexton Street when he was younger. Now with 23 years experience in the prison service, I find I am in very safe hands for my trip through Ireland’s second oldest prison (Cork being the oldest).Opened in 1821, Limerick Prison is a high security sentence and remand prison capable of housing around 260 prisoners. It is one of the oldest working prisons in Europe and an exact replica of St Joseph’s Hospital across the street. Probably something they won’t thank me for publicising, but the prison, St Joseph’s Hospital, the former army barracks in Costello’s Yard, and the hospital across the road, now the site of Limerick College of Further Education, were once all linked by tunnels.“We found one last year,” I am told.But, before any jail-breakers get the notion to go looking for these underground passages, they have since been concreted off.Prisoners come in through the main gates on Mulgrave Street and their warrant is validated. Once inside their photo is taken in front of the kind of stark mug-shot backdrop that we’ve come to know so well from reports of Justin Bieber’s miscreant escapades. A photographic record is then held of each inmate and valuables are handed into a safe for the duration of their stay.One of many myth’s that went up in a puff of smoke for me during my visit was the old TV chestnut of new prisoners being stripped down to their birthday suit and power hosed to within a scalded inch of their dignity. It doesn’t happen!But, here’s one prison statistic that will undoubtedly knock you off your feet. Out of every 15 committals to Limerick Prison under sentence in 2013, 12 were for non-payment of court ordered fines.A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service said that people who are convicted for non-payment of fines such as their television license usually serve between a couple of hours and a couple of days in jail.Limerick Prison’s assistant governor said he is hopeful that new fines legislation will soon put an end to jailing people for non-payment of fines.“The vast majority of these would be ordinary people. At any one time we probably have 160 prisoners on temporary release for fines. They come in and they’re processed administratively and then they are discharged,” Mr Kennedy explained.“It’s no secret that people who come in on fines are here about two hours, they rarely spend an overnight in prison. Sometimes they might spend an overnight but they rarely see a proper accommodation cell. It’s a difficult experience for them at the same time. It’s not natural to be going through metal detectors,” he adds.“It’s probably safer in the prison than it is outside. You see all walks of life. We’ve had solicitors in, rugby internationals, ordinary Joe Soaps. Normally it’s for a small fine, probably less than €1,000, and they are here for under 15 days.You have people here doing a month to life. We have 15 lifers at the moment. You would have the highest crimes down to the lowest crimes and whatever society deems in between. Ninety nine per cent of them are sound.It’s a medium security prison, but it is high security. It’s a safe environment and prisoners see it as safe. We’re lucky in the Limerick staff are very mature. The vast majority work here over ten years.”I was quickly struck by the holistic approach to care and rehabilitation within the prison. There’s a huge focus on community and families, and not long after passing through its ominous façade do I start to see a very different type of prison emerge to the one I’ve grown accustomed to from TV and films. In the last 12 months Limerick Prison has taken striking steps to “softening” the prison experience for the inmates and, in particular, their families.“Once you come in past the drug dogs and screening and security on the outside we then come back into humanity inside these doors,” Mr Kennedy tells me with great pride.The bright and colourful murals, painted by inmates, in the visiting area, strike me instantly. I expected it to look drab and oppressive, but instead I am wowed by how warm, welcoming and conducive to human interaction it feels. In a female visiting room children’s toy are placed in one corner while family members wait anxiously to visit with a prisoner and loved one.As I discovered myself on entering Limerick Prison, it really is a nerve-wracking experience, and the bright colours and furnishings, certainly go some way to softening this heavy blow.“The easy thing for us to do would be to have concrete walls and not paint them, that would be the cheapest way. But you have to soften the blow for people because you have children, wives, daughters and sons coming in here. It’s not as soft as we want it to be and it is going to get softer,” the assistant governor vowed.One prison initiative that brought a tear to my eye was one where a parent serving time for a crime can record a CD telling a bedtime story which is then passed on to their children. Limerick Prison is also hoping in the future to install a more free-modelled style of visiting facility to include more open style visits, in outdoor areas to make it feel more “normal” for the prisoner and their family members.“The prisoner is here and their liberty is taken aside but the visitor coming in needs to feel comfortable. It’s important to keep that family link too,” Mr Kennedy insists.A committee was set up last year looking at the effects of prisons on families and one interesting point that came out of their findings was the idea of not treating visits as just coming to see someone, but as an intervention, an actual definite part of the whole rehabilitation process.“The big thing with prisoners is communication with the outside. When phone calls came in back in 1996 or 97, they got one phone call a week. Now they get one phone call a day for six minutes. If you work within the prison and you engage with everything you get two phone calls and it can go up and down that scale then. So that’s a big incentive and it’s good to see that a prisoner values their phone calls because they value the communication with their family if there’s a communion or a birthday at home. There’s that link with the community all the time.“This way you have a more positive impact on the prisoner and the prisoner and their family get a better quality of visit and they know the benefits. When we talk about things like incentivise regimes, giving prisoners incentives like improving their quality of visits, it make people behave and makes life better for everyone.”Limerick Prison is very much a community within a community. It mirrors life on the outside with prisoners spending their days working, training or in education, the same as we do outside its gates. I expected to be greeted with shouting and violence at every turn and prisoners banging pots and bedpans off their cell bars. Instead, I passed prisoners on the landings and different parts of the prison coming and going as they went about their daily business. Most wore their own ordinary clothes but even the prison uniform of a red shirt and faded blue jeans proved a softer garb than the harsh striped-jumpsuits I had expected to see.The place was silent other than a droning hum of activity for a soundtrack as normal everyday business was carried out within Limerick Prison’s walls.One prisoner officer even asked inquisitively as I passed his landing, “what do you think of our little city?”Assistant governor Mark Kennedy, who has worked in every Irish prison over the past two decades, sees his role as managing relationships. A friendly and approachable man, he moves confidently through the prison and interacts with every prisoner he meets on a first name basis. He is cognisant that Limerick Prison is a “community within a community” and there’s no doubt to me after a short time in his company that the prison’s mission statement and vision is something that Mark believes very passionately in.“Limerick Prison is part of the community since 1821. It’s an exact replica of Limerick City. You have doctors, solicitors, nursing, you have dentistry and psychiatry. You have everything inside here, but it’s behind a wall. It’s a community within a community. We are conscious of building relationships because we have learned from the past that you have to work with the community in Limerick because it’s so small and everyone knows each other,” he insists.The prisoner’s living quarters were compact in size with small creature comforts such as a jug kettle and TV, as well as stereos and PlayStation 2 in many of the cells. Magazine posters of buxom pin-ups and photographs of smiling children looked down from the walls and while space and light were in short supply the cells looked well liveable and appeared to be treated by their inhabitants with the utmost of respect and care.“This is someone’s cell. It has in-cell sanitation, a small kettle, TV and he has a PlayStation 2. We have a catalogue of games in the library and he can bring them back then and play them here. Now what we could do, is if someone doesn’t have the funds, we do a kind of hire purchase. We bought about 100 PlayStations when they were just going out of date. This is a typical cell and it’s nice and clean, because this is where he is living,” Mr Kennedy points out.A spokesman from the Irish Prison Service who joins us on our walkabout of the jail is quick to say that prisoners not only pay for their crimes but they pay for their TV and game consoles too. Inmates get a daily gratuity payment ranging from 95 cent to €1.70 up to €2.20 depending on their participation in structured activities such as education or, work and training, and the quality of their behaviour. The objective is to provide real incentives to encourage prisoners to participate in structured activities in Limerick Prison and to reinforce good behaviour. Prisoners out of their gratuity payment pay for comforts such as TVs and radios and game consoles themselves.The Irish Prison Service spokesman explained, “Ultimately people are sent to prison as punishment, not to be punished. We need to work with them to address the issues that caused them to be sent to prison in the first place. We need to work with offenders to rehabilitate them and make society safer.”Prisoners on D-wing are also rewarded for good behaviour with use of two Xbox game consoles in their recreation room.Mr Kennedy also tells me that the introduction of televisions into prisoners’ cells in 2002 has helped drastically reduce the rate of suicides and self-harm in Irish prisons.“If you have someone who comes in here in bad shape you can’t engage with them in a proper way. That’s all part of the process, getting them healthy, putting on weight. If they come in and they don’t feel safe you can’t do anything for them.Once they get the safety thing into there head, ‘I am safe in Limerick Prison’, and the vast majority of prisoners here would feel comfortable, you can start working with them. Comfortable is probably a word people on the outside don’t want to hear but prisoners are comfortable in the prison,” said Mr Kennedy.The prison cells are unlocked every morning at 8.15, when prisoners collect their breakfast and return to their cells. The cells are then locked for breakfast and unlocked again at 9.10am as inmates head off for school, work, outdoor exercise, family visits or cleaning duties. Lunch is served at 12 noon and prisoners are locked back in their cells again until 2.10pm again when they return to work and education. Being Catholic Ireland and a Friday, boiled potatoes and fish were on the menu the day I visited the prison.Tea is then served at 4pm and prisoners are locked back in their cells until 5.20pm when they are allowed two hours recreation or outdoor exercise before being locked back in their cells for the night at 7.30pm.The prison yard with its barbed wire and netting to catch any items thrown from outside into the jail was the most prison-like setting in the whole compound. It serves as a stark reminder of the grim reality of incarceration and lacked the “softer” more humane feel now evident elsewhere in Limerick Prison.The women’s cells situated in the older part of the prison built back in 1821 felt more Dickensian. It was dark and felt less habitable compared to the male side of the prison. Earlier this year peace activist, Margaretta D’Arcy, described the conditions for Limerick women prisoners as “inhuman”, after serving part of a second sentence over her opposition to the US Military use of Shannon Airport. While last month a Review of Penal Policy published by the Department of Justice was critical of the lack of progress in redeveloping the women’s section of Limerick Prison. Governor Patrick Dawson, who believes in a “more humane prison regime”, is well aware of the issues in the women’s wing and is confident that they will be put to rights with the new build. Mr Dawson told the Limerick Post that this work will be done under the ongoing capital project with the Irish Prison Service and for now insists that prison staff and management do “their best to treat all prisoners with respect and dignity”.Limerick Prison is well versed in receiving its fair share of negative and more sensationalized press coverage down the years and therefore shies away from publicizing the many positive and inspiring projects that take place within its walls. Woodworks students at the prison continually produce woodcraft items for a range of charities including benches for the Alzheimer’s Association and cribs for Bedford Row Family Centre. Limerick Prison also have six teams comprised of four to five prisoners, which is sent out to do various work including painting for local charities.“We don’t do positive publicity very well. We do it but we don’t publicize it.We send work parties into the community and we have a workshop that makes garden furniture for charities. It’s far sexier to write about some prisoner getting a thump off another fella,” Mr Kennedy suggested.“We’d be in the papers, probably every week, for the wrong reasons. There’s a wealth of stuff going on across the board – positive things — in the prison. We’re very much cognizant of the fact that we don’t replicate what a commercial entity is doing outside. So we just go straight in and do purely charitable work. We don’t do someone out of a contract and it’s not five fellas in boiler suits chain-ganged on the road. It’s a softer and healthier approach. It’s about going in and helping local communities and this helps prisoners make reparations too,” he concluded. Advertisement TAGSAlan JacquesfeaturedIrish Prison ServicelimerickLimerick Prison Twitter Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Email Vanishing Ireland podcast documenting interviews with people over 70’s, looking for volunteers to share their stories Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Linkedincenter_img WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Print Previous articleThe Telescopes play LimerickNext articleBusiness owners terrorised by racists in Limerick Alan Jacqueshttp://www.limerickpost.ie Facebook Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORlast_img read more

Lewd, Filthy, Indecent Questions To Prosecutrix In Sexual Assault Cases To Not Be Allowed By Trial Courts: P & H HC Directs Courts [Read Judgment]

first_imgNews UpdatesLewd, Filthy, Indecent Questions To Prosecutrix In Sexual Assault Cases To Not Be Allowed By Trial Courts: P & H HC Directs Courts [Read Judgment] Mehal Jain21 Aug 2020 1:19 AMShare This – xThe Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday required its Registrar General to circulate to all the Presiding Officers/Designated Courts dealing with cases of Crime against Women, in the States of Punjab, Haryana and the U.T., Chandigarh, its observations against “a lewd, filthy and an indecent question put to the prosecutrix” in a rape case, which, the court said, could not have been allowed…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday required its Registrar General to circulate to all the Presiding Officers/Designated Courts dealing with cases of Crime against Women, in the States of Punjab, Haryana and the U.T., Chandigarh, its observations against “a lewd, filthy and an indecent question put to the prosecutrix” in a rape case, which, the court said, could not have been allowed by the trial Court. Justice Arwind Singh Sangwan added that such conduct is in violation of the directions given by the Supreme Court in State of Punjab vs Gurmit Singh (1996), where the top court stipulated that while conducting the cross-examination of victims of sexual assault, the Court should be vigilant that defence counsel should not adopt a strategy of continuing questioning the prosecutrix as to the detail of the rape and the Court should not sit as a silent spectator while the victim of the crime is being cross-examined by the defence and it should effectively control the recording of the evidence to avoid her victimisation. The Single Judge was hearing a set of appeals emerging out of the same judgment of conviction and order of sentence passed by the trial Court in a rape case. The Single Bench pointed out that while conducting cross examination on behalf of the accused, their counsel had put certain questions which, “in opinion of this Court”, could not be asked to a rape victim to prove the innocence of the accused. “One of the questions and its reply reads as under:- ‘Ques. Whether accused Ashraf Mir had sexual intercourse with you in his full satisfaction or not and whether the act of sexual intercourse was complete? Ans. I removed my clothes and whatever a man does with a woman while committing sexual intercourse was completely done by accused Mohd. Ashraf Mir with me'”, extracted Justice Sangwan in his judgment. The Single Bench proceeded to state that “the trial Court should not have allowed such questions to be put to the prosecutrix if the defense counsel could not shatter the testimony of a rape victim”. The High Court observed that the defence was set up so strongly that in the cross examination of the prosecutrix, certain questions were put to her to the extent “Whether while having sexual intercourse with Mohd. Ashraf Mir (A-5), she (PW-1) was able to satisfy him”, which she replied. “One more question was put to her ‘Out of 02 persons, i.e. Mohd. Ashraf Mir (A-5) and one (C-20), who performed sexual intercourse first’. Again, PW-1 (W-1) replied that Mohd. Ashraf Mir (A-5) had sex first”, Justice Sangwan noted. The bench expressed its shock that “Even, a perusal of the subsequent part of the cross examination of the prosecutrix shows that the defence counsel tried to impeach the character of the victim by asking various questions regarding her character to suggest that she had consensual sex with many other persons as she was into flesh trade”. In his judgment, the Single judge quoted the operative part of the judgment in State of Punjab v. Gurmit Singh , which reads as under:- “There has been lately, lot of criticism of the treatment of the victims of sexual assault in the court during their cross-examination. The provisions of Evidence Act regarding relevancy of facts notwithstanding, some defense counsel adopt the strategy of continual questioning of the prosecutrix as to the details of the rape. The victim is required to repeat again and again the details of the rape incident not so much as to bring out the facts on record or to test her credibility but to test her story for inconsistencies with a view to attempt to twist the interpretation of events given by her so as to make them appear inconsistent with her allegations. The Court, therefore, should not sit as a silent spectator while the victim of crime is being cross-examined by the defense. It must effectively control the recording of evidence in the Court. While every latitude should be given to the accused to test the veracity of the prosecutrix and the credibility of her version through cross-examination, the court must also ensure that cross-examination is not made a means of harassment or causing humiliation to the victim of crime. A victim of rape, it must be remembered, has already undergone a traumatic experience and if she is made to repeat again and again, in unfamiliar surroundings, what she had been subjected to, she may be too ashamed and even nervous or confused to speak and her silence or a confused stray sentence may be wrongly interpreted as “discrepancies and contradictions” in her evidence”.Click Here To Download Judgment[Read Judgment]Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

Florence + The Machine Shares Haunting New Ballad For ‘Game Of Thrones’ [Listen]

first_imgOn Sunday night, television fans around the world tuned their undivided focus to HBO to watch the second episode in the final season of Game of Thrones. While Sunday’s episode provided plenty of suspense and drama, one of the big surprises came after the final scenes when a recording of what sounded like Florence Welch began to play during the ending credits. On Monday, it was confirmed that the song which played at the end was indeed Ms. Welch from Florence + The Machine, as the band has recorded the haunting new ballad for the show which was adapted directly from the books.Related: Fender Reveals New ‘Game Of Thrones’-Themed Line Of GuitarsThe song, titled, “Jenny of Oldstones”, acts as a stand-alone single recorded by the British rock band after Welch was reportedly approached by the show’s creators (and fans) David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The song was also sung by one of the characters during Sunday night’s episode as an ominous artistic prelude to the major battle set to take place this season.“We’ve always been huge fans of Florence’s music,” Benioff and Weiss said in a statement about the decision to bring Welch into the Game of Thrones universe. “The opportunity to hear her otherworldly voice on our show was always at the forefront of our minds. We’re still pleasantly shocked that she agreed to sing ‘Jenny of Oldstones,’ and we’re in love with the result.”Welch also added in saying, “When I first heard the song it sounded like a Celtic lullaby to me. Celtic music has always been in my blood, so I felt like I could do something with it … I am honored to be a part of the final season.”A shortened version of the recording may have played during the episode’s ending credits, but fans can check out the video below to hear Welch’s performance of “Jenny of Oldstones” in full.Florence + The Machine – “Jenny of Oldstones”[Video: GameOfThrones]Florence + The Machine continues to tour in promotion of their latest studio album, 2018’s High As Hope. The band returns to the U.S. next month for a run of spring tour dates beginning on May 12th at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Fans can head to the band’s website for tour and ticket info.last_img read more

Boris Becker tells Andy Murray to focus on fitness, not titles or ranking

first_imgAndy Murray should focus on regaining full fitness rather than rushing to be ready for the U.S. Open, Boris Becker said on Wednesday after the world number one was beaten in the Wimbledon quarter-finals by Sam Querrey.Murray’s hopes of becoming the first Briton to retain a grand slam title since Fred Perry in 1936 were shredded as he hobbled helplessly to a 3-6 6-4 6-7(4) 6-1 6-1 defeat.While Murray said his hip injury was not to blame for his exit, three-time Wimbledon champion Becker told the BBC the Briton’s movement was clearly affected.”He has got to think long term, not worry about making the U.S. Open – if he is moving there like he did at Wimbledon, then he won’t win it anyway,” the German said.”His ranking should not be a concern either. Again, he will not defend it if he is not healthy, so he should just forget it. He has been there and done it and he does not have to prove anything anymore that he is good enough to be number one.”Becker said he understood why Murray would have played at Wimbledon even if he was not 100 percent fit.”I understand why Andy played Wimbledon, because it is his number one tournament every year, and he was also the defending champion. He was desperate to make it work,” added Becker, who won six grand slam titles.”I was always the same. In hindsight, I should not have played some of my matches but, in the heat of the moment, I always wanted to play the next round or the next event… But you run the risk of doing yourself more serious damage if you play on.advertisementBecker said Murray should take some time to evaluate his fitness.”Andy is now at the point where he needs to be really honest with himself because if he can’t run, he can’t play.”I credit him for not wanting to use the hip injury as an excuse for his defeat but he needs to get a couple of opinions from doctors before he thinks about coming back.”The U.S. Open, the final grand slam of the year, begins on August 28.last_img read more

Mourinho welcomes Anfield hostility

first_imgManchester United ‘Playing at Anfield is beautiful’ – Mourinho’s Man Utd not afraid of Liverpool hostility Ryan Benson 22:39 10/13/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) mourinho-cropped Getty Images Manchester United Premier League Liverpool v Manchester United Liverpool José Mourinho The Red Devils can expect a frosty reception at Anfield on Saturday, but their Portuguese coach says he prefers that to a flat atmosphere Jose Mourinho has shot down suggestions that the partisan atmosphere at Anfield will have a negative impact on Manchester United, saying they love playing in such conditions.United travel to Liverpool for Saturday’s early kick-off in the Premier League after a wonderful unbeaten start to the season which has seen many tip them for the title.It has been suggested that the trip to Anfield will be United’s first real test of the campaign, as they are yet to face any of the top five from last year. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. They will also undoubtedly get a frosty reception from the home fans, but Mourinho has downplayed the importance of this, certain that his players would rather play at a hostile Anfield than an empty stadium.”This is funny for me,” he told reporters at his pre-match media conference.”Big atmospheres motivate us. It’s something we want, it’s something that if we could have every match, we would have,” says Jose. #MUFC— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 13, 2017″When people speak about big atmospheres, it makes it sound like a big problem for us to go to certain place and face a big atmosphere. This [a great atmosphere] is what we want.”I’m surprised you say this. I’m even more surprised that people talk about atmosphere as if they are something sinister.”It’s something we want, something if we could have every match, we would have.”When Barcelona played against Las Palmas in an empty stadium, you think Las Palmas players wouldn’t rather play in a Camp Nou full of fans?”I’ve never seen a player complain about an atmosphere. We complain when an atmosphere is flat.”We know the fans have huge animosity against us historically, but this [the hostility] is what we want.”We are very happy to have one more opportunity to play in these beautiful conditions. Playing in Anfield is beautiful.”It was then put to Mourinho that his team might go to Anfield and be a little braver than they were there last season, when United came away with a 0-0 draw, to which the Portuguese coach responded in a suitably unimpressed fashion.The #MUFC manager jokes about his tactics for tomorrow’s game… pic.twitter.com/3muHsaVmSl— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 13, 2017″Yeah, one defender and nine strikers,” he joked. “Don’t worry, for sure we’ll play in a new system with one guy behind and we play with nine strikers. Don’t worry about it.”Mourinho went on to give a brief injury update, and although Michael Carrick remains out, there was good news in terms of Romelu Lukaku, who did pick up an ankle issue early on in the international break, before eventually playing for Belgium.He added: “Michael Carrick I know cannot play. I know that. Lukaku looks fine, and that’s it.”  Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more