Paul Gilligan: Closure of St Patrick's is chance to do right by vulnerable young
THE recent announcement by Justice Minister Alan Shatter that he is closing St Patrick's Institution has received widespread support.
All 17-year-olds serving sentences in the institution will now be transferred to a dedicated unit in Wheatfield Prison on an interim arrangement before new facilities are opened in Oberstown in 2014. This decision was made following a recommendation from the Inspector of Prisons and a number of critical reports, including one produced by the Ombudsman for Children's Office in 2011.
There is no doubt the decision to close St Patrick's Institution is the right one, albeit one that should have been taken years ago, and Mr Shatter should be congratulated.