Monday, February 25, 2013

A MAJOR public meeting will take place in Castlerea this week as people of the town gather to discuss concerns over potential plans by the Prison Service to house criminals outside the walls of Castlerea Prison. The meeting will get underway on this Thursday, February 28th at 9 p.m. in Tully’s Hotel, Castlerea. The Prison Service has so far failed to rule out speculation that some of the country’s most notorious murderers, currently serving life sentences, could be moved from within the walls of the prison, into Harristown House which is currently being refurbished. This week Fiana Fail Cllr Paschal Fitzmaurice explained that people were worried and the lack of information from the Prison Service is unacceptable. “We are being told nothing. They say they still haven’t decided what they are going to do with Harristown House and have failed to rule out moving prisoners from The Grove into the facility. People are in fear and are being left in the dark, we need answers immediately,” he said. Cllr Fitzmaurice said that he would meet with management at the prison prior to the public meeting on Thursday and added that he hoped representatives from the prison would attend the meeting to hear the concerns of the people of the town. A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service said that no decision had been made regarding the future of the facility, which had been used as an addiction and counselling centre in 2008 and had since fallen into a state of disrepair. “Harristown House is currently being refurbished and there are numerous options on the table as to what best to use it for into the future. This is a matter for the Director General of the Irish Prison Service and currently the future use of Harristown House is under consideration,” said a spokesperson. Deputy Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan will raise the matter in the Dail this week as a topical issue and has said there was a need for information from the Minister for Justice.

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