Minister Flanagan pays tribute to outgoing Director General of Irish Prison Service, Michael Donnellan


27 September 2018


The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has today paid tribute to Michael Donnellan, who will complete his term as Director General of the Irish Prison Service with effect from Friday 30 November. Mr Donnellan has served as Director General since 2011, prior to which he spent six years as Director of the Probation Service.


Minister Flanagan said: “I want to pay a warm tribute to Michael Donnellan who has led the Irish Prison Service with energy, integrity and dedication for the last seven years.


Since my appointment as Minister, I have witnessed Michael’s progressive and compassionate approach first hand. He has led a significant culture change in the penal system as well as delivering infrastructural improvements to the prison environment and championing a joined up approach to the management of offenders. Michael has overseen a reduction in the number of prisoners on restricted regime and worked with the Probation Service to deliver important prisoner rehabilitation initiatives.


From 2011 to 2017 Ireland reduced its prison population by 16% while reducing the number of prisoners on temporary release from 997 in February 2012 to 234 today.  These outcomes are recognised at home and internationally and my Department was rightly proud when Michael was the recipient of the International Corrections and Prisons Association’s Head of Service Award last year.


Michael’s personal leadership has contributed enormously to the improvement of our prison service and he will be missed by all his colleagues in the criminal justice system.  I wish him all the best with what I’m sure will be an exciting next chapter for him.”