Director General


Michael Donnellan was appointed Director General of the Irish Prison Service, by the Minister for Justice and Equality, with effect from 5th December, 2011. Since his appointment Michael has set about delivering on his vision of a prison service built on respect for human dignity.

Michael is a member of GLEN's Diversity Champions Business Ambassador Council. The Ambassador Council is a gathering of senior business leaders who are committed to supporting GLEN make Irish workplaces LGBT inclusive.

Prior to his appointment as Director General, Michael served as Director of the Probation Service from 2005. Before this he served as Director of two children detention schools in Dublin. He has previous experience in health and social services in London.

Michael Donnellan, Director General of the Irish Prison Service.

Message from Michael:

"Welcome to the Irish Prison Service website. This website contains useful information on the State's 14 Prisons and on recent developments within the Irish Prison Service.

The launch of our commemorative stamp collection in August 2014 was a welcome acknowledgement of the significant and varied work carried out by the Irish Prison Service. The Irish Prison service is more than just bars on windows and locks on doors, the Irish Prison Service is made up of the men and women who each day work in many different ways to break the cycle of re-offending.

Our responsibilities for the care and rehabilitation of prisoners does not end when their sentences are completed. Working  with our partner agencies, such as the Probation Service, we ensure that services and supports are available to prisoners to aid their transition from prison back to the community. We ensure that their release from custody is done in a managed,  planned and structured way helping them to resettle into life outside of the prison system.

The national roll-out of our Incentivized Regimes Policy and Community Return Programme is having a positive impact on the resettlement and re-integration prospects of prisoners.

The Joint IPS/Probation Service Community Return Programme together with our Joint Strategic plan sets out our multi agency approach to offender management in order to reduce re-offending and improve prison outcomes.

Together we must work towards breaking this cycle for the good of the next generation. Startling statistics tell us that 6 out of 10 children of prisoners end up engaging with the criminal justice system.

Through the Report of the Penal Policy Review Group we have a blueprint or road map to make the criminal justice system better and I am committed to ensuring that the Irish Prison Service plays a key role in this reform process.

Michael."