22nd September 2021
[Micheal McDonagh speaking at the launch of IPRT's Travellers in the Irish Prison System in 2014. Photo: Derek Speirs.]
The Board and staff of the Irish Penal Reform Trust were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Michael McDonagh.
Michael made a huge contribution to the struggle for human rights for Travellers over decades and was particularly passionate about Travellers in the criminal justice system and their families.
Michael and Navan Travellers were the first group to approach St. Stephen's Green Trust (SSGT) in 2014 with a structured Prison Links programme supporting Travellers in Wheatfield prison. The need for a peer support group soon became evident. The Prison Links programme, together with the 2014 IPRT report, were the catalysts for SSGT starting the Travellers in Prison Initiative (TPI). IPRT is a member of the TPI Steering Group, of which Micheal was also an active member until his passing.
Our sincere condolences to his family, his friends and his colleagues.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.
Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.