Following the recent arrest and charge of a person in connection with a serious offence, it has transpired that the person charged was at liberty when in fact he had been sentenced to a significant term of imprisonment in respect of a prior and separate conviction which he is now serving.  

Having consulted with the Attorney General, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. Dermot Ahern T.D., is advised that he cannot publicly disclose any details of the offences or the identity of the individual involved as this would risk prejudicing his forthcoming trial on the charge which is of overriding importance.  

In view of his grave concern and to prevent any possible recurrence, the Minister has requested Judge Michael Reilly, the Inspector of Prisons, to undertake an investigation of all the circumstances in this case across all the agencies who dealt with the matter to establish why the person concerned was at liberty and not in prison and to make any necessary recommendations.

Judge Reilly's report will be published (subject to any legal constraints) as soon as the trial has been completed but any recommendations made will be brought into effect as soon as possible.  

13 January 2010