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RTÉ One News: Governor of women's prison leaves role

26th April 2010

Liam Herrick One News 26042010IPRT's Liam Herrick spoke to RTÉ's 'One News' about the issues raised around the resignation of Governor McMahon of Dóchas centre.

Watch the news item here.

Governor Kathleen McMahon has left her position at the Dóchas Centre, which is Ireland's only women's prison. Ms McMahon decided to retire because her position had been made 'completely impossible' by conditions at the prison. These included overcrowding and the imprisonment of women who posed no threat to society.

Director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust Liam Herrick described the decision of Ms McMahon to leave her role as 'a brave step'.

Mr Herrick said: 'This unprecedented public gesture by a prison governor sounds a clear alarm call for Government that even our most progressive prison can no longer achieve its stated purpose.

'If the Governor of a prison says that she cannot do her job under these conditions, then the onus is on Government to address the issues of policy that have precipitated the growing overcrowding crisis in our prisons.

'Much has been achieved in the past ten years in what is a progressive and modern prison, and this is now threatened by a failure of Government policy.'

Director General of the Irish Prison Service Brian Purcell expressed disappointment that Governor McMahon did not discuss with him issues that were concerning her before she retired.

He also said he does not agree with her viewpoint.

viewed here