Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Justice and Equality

Prison Staff

Sorca Clarke (Longford-Westmeath, Sinn Fein)
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497. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the number of prison nurses that were recruited for the Irish Prison Service in 2019 and to date in 2020; and the number of prison nurses that left the Irish Prison Service during same period. [6901/20]

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that staffing requirements are continuously monitored, and that vacancies can arise as a result of multiple factors including mobility, promotions and retirements.

I am informed that there are currently 131 serving nursing staff employed across the Irish Prison Service with a total of 16 vacancies which are in the process of being filled through a Prison Nurse recruitment campaign. In addition, I am advised that the Irish Prison Service also utilises the services of agency nurses to supplement vacancies in permanent posts for nurses across the service.

I am informed that there were no Prison Nurses recruited in 2019 and that a total of three Prison Nurses exited the service. I am further advised that, in 2020 to-date, the Irish Prison Service has recruited eleven Prison Nurses and that one Prison Nurse has left the service.

The Deputy may wish to note that ‘Prison Nurses’ have been employed by the Irish Prison Service since 2012, following the restructuring of nursing in the Irish Prison Service as a result of the Haddington Road Agreement. Prior to 2012, the Irish Prison Service employed the grade of ‘Nurse Officer’.

For the sake of completeness, please find the information requested, for both Prison Nurses and Nurse Officers, in the following tables, furnished to me by the Irish Prison Service.

Recruited into the

Irish Prison Service
2019 2020 (to-date)
Prison Nurses 0 11
Nurse Officers 0 0
Total 0 11
Exited the Irish Prison Service 2019 2020 (To-date)
Prison Nurses 3 1
Nurse Officers 3 1
Total 6 2

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