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Breaking new ground in prison law

A proposal to introduce a database that would record details of those who have died in Irish prisons has resulted from research conducted last year by ten University of Limerick law students, among them Cratloe woman Róisín Cahill. Now graduates, the group worked closely with Judge Michael Reilly, Ireland’s inspector of prisons, to compile the report, which is to be issued to Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. At an event hosted by the School of Law in UL, Judge Reilly, the country’s first and only inspector of prisons, released the report, which highlighted the importance of having a system to record and learn from deaths that occur in prisons. He said Ireland is only now getting to grips with prison law, highlighting that it is only since January 2008, when the Prisons Act 2007 was enacted, that his independent judicial appointment was made to oversee prisons. To date there has been no system to accurately record prison deaths …

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