In his reply to the Second Stage the Minister mentioned the sanctimoniousness of the Opposition in relation to the Bill's passage through the House. We deny this. We suggest the Minister is engaged in some form of triumphalism. He accused Deputy O'Malley and his predecessors of glaring and obvious omissions in not setting in train plans for the erection of a high risk security prison. When he was in Opposition, or indeed when any of his colleagues were in Opposition, as spokesmen for the Department of Justice, they never indicated their desire for a high security risk prison by way of normal methods—Parliamentary Questions. The Minister accused his predecessors of not taking care of that glaring and obvious omission.
This was never brought to the notice of the House until today. I am speaking subject to correction. There was never a suggestion from the then Opposition that they desired the designing and building of a high security risk prison in Portlaoise. Deputy O'Malley is not here to reply to the pettiness of the Minister—I would not describe it as a charge. All improvements in relation to our prison system were begun by Deputy O'Malley, and after 14 months in office, the Minister comes in triumphantly announcing that there is a glaring and obvious omission in the lack of a high security risk prison for 30 individuals. We reject this form of boastfulness. On the Minister's own admission, Deputy O'Malley was a good and concerned Minister for Justice. Despite the Minister's attempt to underrate Deputy O'Malley's performance, he enjoyed the highest respect of prison officers, the Garda Síochána and the others who came under his control.