It is the role of the Irish Prison Service to help achieve a safer and fairer Ireland by:

The Irish Prison Service is responsible for the safe and secure custody of persons held on remand, on immigration matters and people sentenced to prison. 

It is responsible for ensuring that convicted persons properly serve their sentence. The Irish Prison Service is also responsible for providing the opportunities for prisoners to engage in a meaningful way in order to reduce the likelihood of their reoffending and assist them reintegrate into their communities.

The Irish Prison Service Annual Reports and Strategic Plans are available to view through the Publications section on their website.

To learn more about their work, check the Irish Prison Service website.

Rules setting out how prisons will operate, which cover all aspects of prison life, such as visiting rights, facilities, work, discipline, grievance procedures and so on, can be found here.

Independent Prison Monitoring

Independent Prison Monitoring is an essential part of accountability for any modern prison system.

The European Prison Rules stipulate that the conditions of detention and treatment of prisoners are monitored by an independent body or bodies whose findings are made public.

A number of bodies listed below carry out this function in Ireland:


  1. The Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT)

    The CPT can be contacted by post, telephone, fax or e-mail:


    Address: Secretariat of the CPT,
      Human Rights Building,
      Council of Europe,
      F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex,
    Phone: +33 3 88 41 23 36
    Fax:    +33 3 88 41 27 72

  2. The Criminal Justice (United Nations (Convention Against Torture) Act, 2000

  3. Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

  4. Inspector of Prisons

  5. Prison Visiting Committees

    Prison Visiting Committees are made up of individuals from across society.

    They visit the prison to which they are appointed and hear any complaints made to them by a prisoner. They look at the quality of the prison accommodation and the facilities and services available to the prisoners there.

    Each committee gives the Minister a report every year on their findings. These are published on the Department’s website and the reports can be accessed here.

    Each appointment to a visiting committee is for a period of three years. To be appointed to a prison visiting committee you should make a representation to either the Minister for Justice or your local representative who may in turn nominate you for appointment.


Prison Committee Members

Arbour Hill Prison

Padraig McGarrigle

 Rita Hayes

Castlerea Prison

John Keavney

Martin Leonard

Pauline McDonagh

Thomas Garvey

Martin Daly

Cloverhill Prison

Margaret  Downey

Fintan Hudson

David Ruddy

Laura Jenkins

Mary O'Neill

Nuala Ryan

Cork Prison

Robin Murray

Anthony Donnelly

Dermot O'Connell

Jeremiah Sullivan

Diarmuid Drennan

Tomas Ryan

Arbour Hill Prison

Padraig McGarrigle

 Rita Hayes

Dóchas Centre

Noel Cloak

Christine Ryan

Anne Delaney

Limerick Prison

Pat Conway

Val Rooney

Patrick Reidy

Mary Prendergast

John Higgins

Patricia McCarthy

Loughan House Open Centre

Michael Smith

Andrew Cullen

Thomas J. Prendergast

Midlands Prison

Ted Laffey

Margaret O'Dwyer

John Kelly

Joe Leahy

Derek Mulcahy

Mountjoy Prison

Phelim McGee

Mary Fennessy

Pauline Conroy

Joseph Ahern

Andrew Garvey

Portlaoise Prison

Michael Hough

Anne Turley

Declan Brennan

Martin Moroney

Shelton Abbey Open Centre

Marie O'Rourke

Thomas Healy

Thomas Gregan

Anthony Lawlor

Richard P. Codd

St. Patrick's Institution

Pat Burke Walsh

Training Unit Place of Detention

Anne Confrey

Patrick J. Holton

Billy Ireland

Wheatfield Place of Detention

Joe Fitzsimons

Kathleen Gill

Stewart Stephens

Brenda Coyne


Committee members are not paid a fee but receive expenses of €142.50 per day per prison visited and vouched travel expenses of up to €30.