343. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice the number of members of organised criminal gangs currently in prison or awaiting sentence; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30430/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): I am advised by my officials in the Irish Prison Service that there are currently 102 prisoners in custody associated with known organised criminal gangs currently serving a sentence or awaiting trial.
There is an additional 70-80 prisoners who are associates of these prisoners but are not known to be officially aligned to organised gangs and others who are part of “gangs” in prison who are not known as organised criminal gangs.
These figures excludes the subversive prisoners in Portlaoise Prison.
Membership or allegiance of these criminal groups fluctuates on a continuous basis with some persons breaking links and others becoming affiliated on a daily basis. It is also the case that prisoners will not always declare their affiliation to certain groupings and it is therefore not possible to provide definitive numbers in relation to the number of known members of criminal groupings currently in custody. It should also be noted that more than one criminal gang may group together under the umbrella of a particular group and in some instances some gangs may form splinter groups due to family or in house disputes.
I am advised by the Courts Service that a breakdown of data on the number of members of organised criminal gangs awaiting sentence is not available.