Key projects to go ahead but Justice funds slashed
THE Department of Justice budget is to be slashed by 15pc to €328m.
But cash is being made available for a number of key projects, including the provision of extra prison spaces and the start of a new computer programme to help the investigation and detection of serious crimes.
Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said the capital budget of €80m provided for the sector was the first tranche of a total investment of €330m over the next four years. This would ensure progress could be made on vital projects.
These include pressing ahead with the development of the new prison campus at Thornton Hall, providing an initial 700 spaces, and an extension to the Midlands jail in Portlaoise.
But there is reduced funding for the Irish Naturalisation, Immigration Service and legal aid for asylum seekers. The Chief State Solicitor's budget will be cut by 3pc, the DPP by 1pc, and the State Laboratory by 7pc.