The Prison Officers' Association says it is "bitterly disappointed" at the decision of Minister McDowell not to open a dialogue with them on the closure of Shanganagh Open Prison.
The POA said: "The decision to close this facility was seriously flawed and taken with no consultation and very little recognition of the unique and vital services provided."
Eugene Dennehy, Deputy General Secretary of the POA speaking in Dublin today said: "We are disappointed the Minister has failed to consult and hear our views on this important issue.
"Prison Officers have made a massive commitment to ensuring the success of Shanganagh - as our only alternative to imprisonment for juvenile offenders.
"Shanganagh was also vital in terms of rehabilitation for those young people who wished to consider a life away from crime."
"Last week we called on the Minister to seek an alternative for Shanganagh - so that a stepping stone facility would be available for those who wish to make choices.
"Irrespective of the perceived financial constraints we must continue to invest in people - especially those who are marginalised and deprived. Failing the see the need for such a facility is short-sighted in the extreme."