130. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the prisoner transfer scheme following the Supreme Court judgment in a case (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47595/17]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question 207 of 12 October 2017. The position remains as stated. For convenience I repeat that reply below.
On 12 July, 2016, the Supreme Court dismissed the State's appeal in the case known as 'O'Farrell, McDonald, Rafferty -v- The Governor of Portlaoise Prison'. The case concerns an appeal taken by the State against a judgement of the High Court ordering the release of the three named prisoners who had been transferred to Ireland from the UK where they had been sentenced, under the provisions of the Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners Acts, 1995 -1997.
The judgement is detailed and has implications for the continuance in its present form of the process operated by the Irish Prison Service for transferring prisoners from other States to Ireland. The practical effect of this judgement and whether it will necessitate legislative and/or administrative changes is being examined by officials of the Irish Prison Service and my Department in consultation with Attorney General. Given the complex nature of the review being undertaken, it is not possible at this stage to indicate a time frame for its conclusion.