Dáil Éireann - Volume 527 - 05 December, 2000

Written Answers. - Prisoner Transfers.

322. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position on the repatriation of an Irish citizen to Ireland from England to serve the remainder of his prison sentence. [28207/00]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): The person concerned has applied in the United Kingdom for a transfer to serve the balance of his sentence here under the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. However, his formal application has not yet been received from the UK authorities. Officials in my Department contacted them last week to be advised that they are not yet in possession of all the documentation required to complete the application for submission to me for my consideration. When the necessary documentation and reports have been collated as required under the convention, I am assured his application will be forwarded for my consideration without delay.

As I have explained in the past, the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons requires extensive documentation to be exchanged between both jurisdictions in order to allow an application to be fully considered. A three-way consent is also required to enable any transfer to take place, that is, from the authorities of both jurisdictions and from the person concerned. On receipt of those consents, assuming they are forthcoming, an application must be made to the High Court for a warrant authorising the transfer of the person concerned and his-her continued detention here.

These procedures are required under the con[740] vention and must be adhered to in processing each application. Unfortunately, it is not possible to say how long it will take for this application to be considered. However, I can assure the Deputy that every effort continues to be made to complete this process as quickly as possible.