Official report criticises actions of former Minister for Justice

An official report has criticised the former Minister for Justice for refusing to appoint the Inspectorate of Prisons to investigate the murder of an inmate.

An official report has criticised the former Minister for Justice for refusing to appoint the Inspectorate of Prisons to investigate the murder of an inmate.

The late Mr Justice Kinlen said Michael McDowell should have chosen him to carry out the inquiry but instead appointed a former garda and Deputy Secretary General of the Department of Justice.

21 year-old Gary Douch was kicked, strangled and beaten to death in his Mountjoy prison cell in August 2006.

Mr Justice Kinlen's also described zero tolerance of drugs in prisons as “an impossible dream”.

His report states there must be a sustained, continuous and determined effort at least to control it and to facilitate prisoners in every way possibly to eradicate their addiction.

The former prisons Inspector says the government may also be in breach of the Good Friday Agreement by not having a complaints procedure for inmate similar to the North's Ombudsman for Prisoners.

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