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Question

717. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Justice if there is a barrier at present to Irish prisoners who are incarcerated abroad being repatriated to the Irish prison system; if legislation will be required to enable this process to resume; if so, when this legislation will be published; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9734/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): As the Deputy may be aware, on foot of a number of relevant Supreme Court judgements, it is necessary to amend legislation which facilitates the transfer of prisoners from abroad to serve their sentences here in the State.
The Government approved the General Scheme of the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (Amendment) Bill in 2019 in order to amend the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Acts 1995 and 1997. The relevant 2016 Supreme Court judgments raises the issue of how best to adapt and administer under Irish law a foreign sentence that contains features not found in Irish sentences. This (Amendment) Bill is designed to address this issue.
Officials in my Department are currently working with the Office of the Attorney General with a view to progressing this matter so that a finalised Bill can be brought to Government and presented to the Oireachtas as soon as possible.
Legislation to transpose Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA is also being progressed and is on the Government Legislative Programme Priority List for publication this session.