Dáil debates

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions

Prison Service

9:50 am

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

As I said, when I met the Tánaiste there were 29 prisoners on the E block. I predicted at that time that if no new prisoners came in, the numbers would drop to approximately ten by the end of 2023. That happened. To my knowledge, there are no prisoners in the E wing on remand, so there is nobody awaiting trial. There is nobody, to my knowledge, in the E wing who was out in bail. It would therefore appear that the threat level is reduced. Some prisoners there are near the end of their sentences, with one prisoner due out next month. We are, therefore, talking about a small number of people. There are all sorts of other prisoners in the prisons who are high risk. It seems amazing that this small number of prisoners needs the Army to secure them when none of the other prisoners in the whole prison system, who are in for very significant crimes, needs this. We have to recognise there is a changed dynamic here. We need to build on that in a positive way to try to get everybody to move forward and to realise there is a political way and space for all political opinions, as long as they are followed peacefully in this country.


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