Filter

Question

463. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice the number of Covid-19 cases reported in each of the prisons here in 2019, 2020 and to date in 2021; the number of Covid-19 related hospitalisations that occurred in respect of each of the prisons in the same period; the number of Covid-19 related deaths that occurred in respect of each of the prisons in 2019, 2020 and to date in 2021, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [56911/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): The Irish Prison Service has put in place an extensive range of measures to prevent Covid-19 transmission into our prisons. The Prison Service Covid-19 response aims to prevent the spread of infection into a prison; detect early any possible infection in a prisoner or staff member; and prevent the spread of infection within a prison should there be a confirmed case.
The measures which have been introduced to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in prisons are updated on a regular basis, are guided by the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team and are consistent with the prison specific guidance for the management of Covid-19 issued by the World Health Organisation and the guidance of the Council of Europe.
On 9 June 2021 a bespoke prison vaccination programme commenced on a phased prison-by-prison basis. Vaccinations were administered by National Ambulance Service and Irish Prison Service healthcare teams to all prisoners who wished to receive one. The roll out of a Covid-19 mass vaccination programme has seen in excess of 85% of the prison population vaccinated.
The first positive prisoner case of Covid-19 was confirmed in an Irish prison in August 2020. As such, there were no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in our prisons in 2019.
There were 23 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in 2020 and 254 confirmed cases in 2021 (figures are correct up to 20 November, 2021).
I can advise the Deputy that there were no prisoner hospitalisations due to Covid-19 until earlier this month (November 2021) when two prisoners were hospitalised following an outbreak of Covid-19 in the Midlands Prison. I regret to inform the Deputy that one of the prisoners who was hospitalised sadly passed away. His cause of death will be determined by a Coroner's Inquest and I would like to extend my sympathies to his family and friends on their loss.
Detailed information on the number of confirmed cases in prisons in 2020 and 2021 is set out in Tables 1 and 2 below.
Table 1 Confirmed Prison Covid-19 cases, Covid-19 Hospitalisation and Covid-19 related deaths in 2020 by prison ;

Prison Total Number of Covid-19 Cases Covid-19 Related Hospitalisation Covid-19 Related Deaths
Dochas 1
Cloverhill 9
Mountjoy 1
Midlands 7
Limerick 4
Castlerea 1
Loughan 0
Wheatfield 0
Shelton Abbey 0
Portlaoise 0
Cork 0
Arbour Hill 0
Total 23 0 0


Table 2 provides the number of prisoner confirmed Covid-19 cases including hospitalisation and related deaths in 2021 by prison;
Prison Total Number of Covid-19 Cases Covid-19 Related Hospitalisation Covid-19 Related Deaths
Dochas 6
Cloverhill 49
Mountjoy 53
Midlands 66 2 *1
Limerick 16
Castlerea 7
Loughan 12
Wheatfield 13
Shelton Abbey 3
Portlaoise 3
Cork 12
Arbour Hill 14
Total 254 2 1*


*The cause of death is a matter for the Coroner's Office.