Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (529)

Clare Daly

Question:

529. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the circumstances of the death of a person (details supplied) in prison; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19647/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I was advised by the Irish Prison Service of the recent death in custody of the named person. I understand that the inquest into the death of this person is pending, and the scheduling of the inquest is a matter for the Coroner concerned.

I also refer the Deputy to my response to Question 7411/19. I wish to reiterate that all deaths in custody are the subject of a Garda investigation in addition to the inquest held in the Coroner's Court. The cause of death is determined by a jury on the basis of the information presented to the Coroner’s Court.

All deaths in custody are also subject to an independent investigation by the Inspector of Prisons. The investigation by the Inspector of Prisons applies to prisoners who are in the custody of the Irish Prison Service, and includes those instances where the death of the prisoner has occurred outside the prison, or the prisoner in question was recently on temporary release at the time of death.

The Irish Prison Service also has an internal review mechanism which assesses the circumstances of a death in custody, highlights accountability and outlines any actions to be taken in relation to the incident.