'The Government plans to establish a separate detention centre in the Thornton Hall prison complex for foreign nationals such as asylum seekers or illegal immigrant'
The Irish Times, 2008
Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) believes that detention should be used as measure of last resort. This principle has a particular resonance in relation to persons who have not been convicted of a criminal offence, such as irregular migrants of any kind. International human rights law is also clear that immigration related detainees should not be held at the same facility as persons convicted of criminal offences. Reports of plans for a large immigration detention facility at the site signal that Government may be planning to increase detention of asylum seekers at a time when asylum seeker numbers have been consistently dropping. Furthermore, current Irish immigration and asylum figures do not show any need for expanded immigration detention.
IPRT recommends that the Government make a clear commitment that no immigration detention facility will be created at Thornton Hall.