Ireland: Conditions For Female Prisoners A Concern



The Celtic League has written to the Department of Justice and Law Reform in Ireland to express concern about overcrowding at female prisons in Ireland.

The issue was first raised by the League twelve months ago and subsequently atthe League AGM in July 2010 a resolution on the issue was adopted. (See below):

`The Minister for Justice and Law Reform
51 St Stephen’s Green
Dublin 2


Dear Minister,

The Celtic League Annual General Meeting last month (held in the Isle of Man) voiced continuing concerns about overcrowding at female prison facilities in Ireland.

The League first made representations about the issue when it raised concerns about overcrowding in the women’s section of Limerick jail early in 2009.

Assurances were received from your Office that the issue was being addressed.

However, in April 2010 Kathleen Mahon, the highly regarded Governor of the Dóchas Women’s Prison situated in the Mountjoy complex resigned citing`impossible’ conditions’. She said the Women’s Prison was overcrowded with 137 prisoners in a centre designed to accommodate 85. In an interview with The Irish Times she said her position had been made “impossible” by the failure of the prison service to consult her on key issues and a general “lack of respect”shown to her by the service. She warned that overcrowding was now so acute she feared an increase in self harm, bullying and violence.

After considering the foregoing the Celtic League AGM unanimously adopted a resolution the text of which is set out below:

“This AGM: Bearing in mind concerns expressed by the Celtic League about overcrowding at female prison facilities in Ireland in July 2009 and aware of assurances given at that time by the Minister for Justice and Law Reform reiterates its concern about serious overcrowding of the Irish prison establishment generally and facilities for women in particular”.

We trust that your Department will do all in its power to address the current unsatisfactory situation.

Yours sincerely,

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information’

Related article on Celtic News at:

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a
broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on
socio-economic issues.

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