Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Questions (1182)

Thomas Pringle


1182. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice the steps being taken by her Department to investigate the holding of a retirement party in Portlaoise Prison in contravention of Covid-19 regulations; the persons responsible for it; if any staff will be or have been reprimanded in relation to it; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13908/21]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I understand that what the Deputy is referring to is an event that was held in the Midlands Prison on the 27 March 2020 to mark the retirement of the then Governor.

The Deputy will also be aware that the Director General had, at the time, advised the then Governor that any large gathering, or large assembly of staff, to mark her retirement at that time was not permissible and the large gathering planned for that day was cancelled and I am advised that a lunch, for a small number of people, was served in the staff canteen on the day.

In the following days it emerged that two staff members, assigned to Irish Prison Service Headquarters, attended the event without authorisation and I am advised that their attendance on the day has been addressed through the appropriate channels with the staff concerned.