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Question

186. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Justice if advice will be provided in relation to matters raised in correspondence by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34237/20]

187. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Justice when a detailed reply will issue to Parliamentary Question No. 251 of 1 October 2020 in relation to prison conditions in the Dóchas centre for female prisoners; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34204/20]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): I wish to apologise for the delay in responding to the initial Parliamentary Question from the Deputy.
The Irish Prison Service is committed to the provision of safe, secure and humane custody for people who are sent to prison in this State and the Deputy will be aware of their outstanding record of safeguarding those in their care during the current pandemic.
The Chaplaincy Service is independent and professional, while working as part of the prison multi-disciplinary team reporting to the Governor. Chaplains have a crucial supporting role in prison life by providing pastoral and spiritual care to any prisoners who wish to avail of the service.
As the Deputy will appreciate, I am regularly briefed by officials on a range of matters relating to the operation of the Irish Prison Service and I understand that the reports from the Prison Chaplains will be published on the IPS website shortly.
These reports will contribute to the ongoing engagement on prisons matters, including in relation to the operation of the Dochas centre.