Sinn Féin Public Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson Mary Lou McDonald TD this afternoon called on Minister Brendan Howlin TD to extend the Ombudsman remit to include prisons and all issues relating to asylum, refugees and naturalisation.
Speaking during Ministers Questions Deputy McDonald said:
“For some time now the Ombudsman has sought to have the office’s remit extended to important areas of justice.
“It is Sinn Féin’s firm view that the remit of the Ombudsman office must be extended to prisons and all issues relating to asylum, refugees and naturalisation, as is the norm in other European counties with similar legislation.
“Minister Howlin today ruled out the inclusion of prisons on the basis that the Department of Justice intends to put in place its own a prisoner complaints system. This capitulation by the Minister to the Department of Justice is deeply disappointing and undermines his own reform agenda.
“Complaints with regard to asylum, refugees and naturalisation are also to be left languishing until the Government delivers on its commitment to overall the asylum system.
“When it comes to opportunities for real reforms that take on the corrosive culture that remains within some sections of the civil service Minister Howlin buckles at every turn.”