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Thursday 14 November 2019

Government approves closure of St Patrick’s Institution

Tom Brady, Security Editor

The Government has approved the closure of the controversial St Patrick's Institution, which is a detention centre for young offenders.

A proposal to shut it down was brought before the Cabinet last night by Justice Minister Alan Shatter and accepted.

Mr Shatter decided on the immediate closure, which was revealed in the Irish Independent on Monday, after studying the contents of damning reports on St Patrick's from the inspector of prisons, Judge Michael Reilly.

The judge issued a heavily critical report last autumn and issued a number of recommendations.

It is understood he was not happy with the implementation of the recommendations and as a result the minister opted for closure.

In the meantime, 16 year old offenders have been transferred to Oberstown and Trinity House centres in north county Dublin.

It is expected that the remaining prisoners, aged between 17 and 21 years, will now be moved to another Dublin jail.

The population of St Patrick's has dropped from 230 two years ago to 120 today because of the changes.

Senior staff at the institution were informed of the shutdown proposal on Sunday.

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