Dáil Éireann - Volume 460 - 31 January, 1996

Written Answers - Portlaoise Prison Spaces.

87. Ms O'Donnell asked the Minister for Justice the negotiations, if any, that have taken place to allocate the extra prison spaces in Portlaoise Prison to offenders who have committed non-paramilitary related crimes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2086/96]

Minister for Justice (Mrs. Owen): As the Deputy will be aware, yesterday I announced a package of measures covering prison places and Garda and courts reorganisation. These include the provision, within months, of a secure area at Castlerea, capable of accommodating 25 prisoners. Some prisoners in Portlaoise will be moved to this accommodation within the next three months. Prior to that, within weeks, 40 places will become available at Portlaoise. A further 40 places will become available when the transfers to Castlerea are completed, making a total of 80 spaces available. Following some internal adjustments, which will take eight to 12 [1942] months to complete, a further 25 spaces will become available there.

The Prison Officer's Association is fully aware of these proposals and further discussions will take place with them.