6 April 2017
The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD, has announced the closure of St. Patrick’s Institution with effect from tomorrow, 7th April 2017.
Speaking on the closure the Tánaiste said: “From 31st March 2017 all 17 year olds are now committed by the Courts to the Children’s Detention Centre at Oberstown, rather than to St. Patrick’s Institution.
“As a consequence, I am now making Orders under the Prisons Act, 2015 closing down the last remaining wing of St. Patrick’s Institution and subsuming it into Mountjoy Prison, with effect from 7 April, 2017. From that date, St. Patrick’s Institution will no longer have a legal existence.
“I should point out that 17 year olds currently detained in Wheatfield will not transfer to Oberstown but will stay in Wheatfield until they finish their sentences or transfer into the adult system. The completion of this process will take approximately 9 months. This approach follows the same successful phased transition of responsibility for males aged 16 years to the Children Detention Schools in 2012 and for males aged 17 years who were remanded in custody since March 2015.”
“Ending the practise of sending children to St. Patrick’s Institution was a long standing Government commitment and one in which I and Minister Zappone were personally invested. I am delighted to confirm the closure of St. Patrick’s Institution from midnight on 6 April, 2017 and its effective removal from the Statute Book. St Patrick’s Institution has been the subject of much criticism by various bodies and persons involved in the area of human rights and children’s rights. The signing of these orders will now consign the name of St Patrick’s to the history books and is a significant and progressive step forward in the treatment of children.”