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Over €100k paid out in compensation to two families of prisoners who died from self-inflicted injuries

That’s according to documents provided to the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

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File photos
Image: Shutterstock/alexfan32

OVER €100,000 has been paid out in compensation to two families of prisoners who had died from self-inflicted injuries while in custody in recent years.

That’s according to a document provided to the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee (PAC) by the Department of Justice, seen by TheJournal.ie. 

The document showed that between the years of 2014 and 2018 a total of €2,359,145 was paid in compensation to prisoners. 

Another €5,913,695 in associated legal costs were borne by the State in defending these claims. 

Compensation payouts were highest in 2016, standing at €647,167, followed by 2018 at €502,646 and 2017 at €492,126. 

2015 saw €468,059 worth of compensation payouts, while payouts in 2014 stood at €249,137. 

Payments for self-injurious behaviour between 2016 and 2017 were €50,000 and €51,737, respectively. These payments were made to families of prisoners who had died from self-inflicted injuries while in custody. 

The document outlined that the State Claims Agency (SCA) manages the following types of personal injury and property damage claims on behalf of its client State authorities, their servants or agents: 

  • Injury to employees
  • Injury to a member of the public
  • Clinical negligence 
  • Third-party property damage

The State Claims Agency also manages claims on behalf of the Irish Prison Service in relation to slopping-out (lack of in-cell sanitation).

The Irish Prison Service manage certain personal injury claims which are not covered by the delegation to the State Claims Agency.

If a personal injury claim involves an alleged assault between members of staff or an alleged assault by a staff member on a prisoner, these cases are managed directly by the Irish Prison Service in conjunction with the Chief State Solicitors Office.

“The State Claims Agency aims to ensure that the Irish Prison Service liability to contained at the lowest achievable level,” the document stated.

Personal injury claims pursued by a person who has also made a protected disclosure in relation to their injury claim are managed by the State Claims Agency.

The Department of Justice outlined in the document that no compensation payments have been made in cases relating to protected disclosures to date.

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