Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Questions (186)

Ruth Coppinger


186. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 542 of 26 July 2017, if he will report on the progress on resolving issues related to the repatriation of prisoners; his plans for resolving this matter in view of the impact on the welfare of prisoners and their families; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4795/18]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, on 12 July, 2016, the Supreme Court dismissed the State's appeal in the case known as 'O'Farrell, McDonald, Rafferty -v- The Governor of Portlaoise Prison'. The case concerns an appeal taken by the State against a judgement of the High Court ordering the release of the three named prisoners who had been transferred to Ireland from the UK where they had been sentenced, under the provisions of the Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners Acts, 1995 -1997.

The judgement is detailed and has implications for the continuance in its present form of the process operated by the Irish Prison Service for transferring prisoners from other States to Ireland. The practical effect of this judgement is being examined by my Department, including the legislative and administrative changes that will be required to address the issues raised. 

I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that all applicants and officials in the appropriate sentencing states have being informed of the situation.