The Children's Referendum: St. Patrick's Institution Report – Some Thoughts

The Inspector of Prisons’ Report into St. Patrick’s Institution makes for harrowing reading. His use, throughout, of the word “child” is poignant and dramatic. He does not speak in technical or legal terms about “juveniles” or “young offenders”; he does not list complicated Articles of the Constitution or European Convention on Human Rights; he does not pontificate. He simply tells the story of St. Patrick’s Institution, of the children imprisoned there, of the adults imprisoned there, and the dismaying culture that has festered there. It is a sad, sad story, and one which we, as a nation, should be horrified to hear in Ireland in 2012.

The Inspector, Judge Michael Reilly, must be admired for his dogged pursuit of the truth in relation to the regime in St. Patrick’s Institution. He writes (at para 3.3) that if one were to compile a report on St Patrick’s based on one or two visits one might accept that it was run in accordance with best practice and that the rights of prisoners were vindicated. However, his approach was much more thorough. His Report is based on numerous visits to St Patrick’s, many of which were unannounced, on conversations with prisoners, prison officers, representatives of the Prison Officers Association, service providers to the prison and prison management, and on the views of many former inmates of St. Patrick’s, people who worked there over the years, people and organisations who provided services to St. Patrick’s and a cross section of people with an interest in and a knowledge of St. Patrick’s (para 3.4). This allowed for concerns to be cross-checked and verified, and means that the veracity of the findings in the Report is beyond question.

Most media outlets are covering the story today and it is not particularly Continue reading “The Children's Referendum: St. Patrick's Institution Report – Some Thoughts”

The Children's Referendum: St. Patrick's Institution Report – Some Thoughts

Conference: Ireland’s Human Rights Record Under the Spotlight – Implications of the United Nations Universal Periodic Review

The Irish Human Rights Commission and the Law Society are holding their 9th Annual Human Rights Conference on 22 October 2011 from 10am to 2.30pm in the President’s Hall, Blackhall Place. The theme of this conference is the implications of the United Nations Universal Periodic Review for Ireland. Ireland’s draft UPR outcome is available here.  The keynote conference address will be given by Ms Anastasia Crickley, UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Other speakers include: Geraldine Hynes, Equality Authority, Susan McKay, National Women’s Council of Ireland, Professor William Binchy, Trinity College Dublin and Commissioner of the IHRC, Martin Collins, Pavee Point and former Commissioner of the IHRC, Siobhan O’Donoghue, Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland, Judge Michael Reilly, Inspector of Prisons, Candy Murphy, Social and Economic Consultant and John Dolan, National Disability Federation.

Those wishing to attend can contact  Anthea Moore on 01 672 4961 or email a.moore[at]lawsociety.ie.

 

 

Conference: Ireland’s Human Rights Record Under the Spotlight – Implications of the United Nations Universal Periodic Review

Inspector of Prisons Reports Recently Published

On October 22nd a number of important reports were published by the Office of the Inspector of Prisons in Ireland:

  1. The Irish Prison Population – an examination of duties and obligations owed to prisoners
  2. Report of an Investigation on the use of ‘Special Cells’ in Irish Prisons
  3. Guidance on Best Practice relating to Prisoners’ Complaints and Prison Discipline
  4. Inspector of Prisons Annual Report (March 2009 – September 2010)

1. In the report on The Irish Prison Population – an examination of duties and obligations owed to prisoners the Inspector of Prisons, Judge Michael Reilly, Continue reading “Inspector of Prisons Reports Recently Published”

Inspector of Prisons Reports Recently Published