163. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to instances in which a serving prison officer recorded and-or made hand notes of engagements between prisoners and their legal representatives which were then sent to a chief officer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12573/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Irish Prison Service seeks to fully respect the privileged and confidential relationship between a prisoner and his or her legal adviser. The Director General of the Irish Prison Service informs me that she is not aware of the instances described in the question. It is not clear if the Deputy is referring to the investigation into recent allegations of surveillance and other wrongdoing in prisons which I asked the Inspector of Prisons to carry out. That investigation took place under section 31 of the Prisons Act 2007 with the Inspector of Prisons having full access to relevant documentation and personnel in Prison Service Headquarters or elsewhere in the Prison Service.
I have now been furnished with a copy that investigative report of the Inspector of Prisons. I will consider the report in consultation with the Attorney General and in accordance with the provisions of section 31. Question No. 164 answered with Question No. 156.