33. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality her plans in relation to the appointment of a new inspector of prisons, following the death of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40427/16]


Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the Deputy will be aware, Part 5 of the Prisons Act, 2007 provides for the appointment of an Inspector of Prisons to perform the functions as outlined in the Act. The appointment of a new Inspector of Prisons is under active consideration and I will be making an announcement once all options have been examined.
It is important to record here the commitment, deep interest and diligence that the late Judge Michael Reilly brought to his role as the Inspector of Prisons which continued to his sad and unexpected passing on 26 November, 2016. I am committed to ensuring that there continues to be independent inspection of our prison system - dealing with issues such as conditions and general health and welfare of prisoners detained in prisons, the general conduct and effectiveness of persons working there, compliance with national and international standards including in particular the Prison Rules, availability and engagement in programmes and other facilities available as well as security, discipline and general management issues.