Torture watchdog inspects garda stations

A POWERFUL European torture watchdog has made initial observations to the Government following a 12-day visit to Ireland.

The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) examined the treatment of people detained in 10 garda stations in Dublin, Limerick, Westmeath, Galway, Sligo and Roscommon.

The CPT also investigated the treatment of adults and juveniles in custody in seven prisons in Dublin, Limerick, Roscommon and Cork.

The team examined Kevin Street, Mountjoy and Store Street garda stations in Dublin; Henry Street and Roxborough stations in Limerick; Athlone and Mullingar stations in Westmeath, Castlerea station in Roscommon as well as Galway station and Sligo station.

The CPT examined conditions at Mountjoy Prison, Cloverhill Prison and St Patrick’s Institution for Young Offenders, Limerick Prison and Castlerea Prison in Roscommon.

The watchdog said it looked at a number of issues in prisons, including:

* conditions of inmates in segregation

* the phenomenon of inter-prisoner violence

* provision of health care

* issues pertaining to complaints and discipline

* mental health care

The CPT delegation held consultations with justice minister Michael McDowell, health minister Mary Harney, children’s minister Brian Lenihan, deputy garda commissioner Fachtna Murphy and director general of prisons, Brian Purcell.

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