Over €600,000 has been spent on televisions and subscription channels in prisons over the past two years.
Since 2014, the Irish Prison Service has bought 2,505 televisions for inmates at a cost of €440,000 while almost €170,000 has been spent on Sky Sports and other TV Channels.
The figures from the Irish Prison Service were released to the Irish Examiner under a Freedom of Information request.
Prisoners pay €1.05 to rent a TV for their cell which gets them a basic television package while access to Sky Sports is only available for well behaved prisoners.
Feena Ni Chinneide from the Irish Penal Reform Trust has said since televisions were introduced in prisons in 2002 incidents of self harm and suicide dramatically dropped: “Prison is a terrible place, you spend long years, long days, not enough access to activities.
“So anything that encourages the prisoners to engage with the treatments and services, education and work is absolutely necessary.”