Among the details of a protected disclosure made by a serving prison officer that have come to light is the claim that tracking devices were placed on prison officers’ cars and that conversations between solicitors and prisoners were monitored during covert surveillance within the Irish Prison Service.

Commenting on these allegations, Deputy O’Callaghan said, “Fully investigating any allegation of malpractice within our country’s prison service is of the utmost importance, particularly allegations as serious as those that have emerged this week.

“The preliminary statutory investigation to be conducted by the independent Inspector of Prisons, Patricia Gilheaney must cover every element of the allegations.

“Therefore, the Minister must guarantee that every necessary resource is provided to the Office of the Inspector of Prisons to conduct this investigation in a timely manner.

“It is essential that a comprehensive investigation and report are completed as soon as possible.”