Articles tagged with: Tony O'Riordan SJ

Is Expansion of Prison Places for Women Needed? An Analysis of Statistics, 2003–2006

on Thursday, 30 October 2008. Posted in Issue 59 In Recession who will be left Stranded?

Daragh McGreal and Tony O’Riordan SJ
November 2008

pdf Is Expansion of Prison Places for Women Needed? An Analysis of Statistics, 2003-2006


Current government prison policy envisages the closure of the Dóchas Centre in Mountjoy and the opening of new women’s prisons at Thornton Hall, in north Dublin and at Kilworth, Co. Cork, resulting in a doubling of the number of places for women prisoners. This radical expansion of prison capacity for female offenders is being justified by the authorities on the grounds that the existing facilities at Dóchas and in Limerick Prison are routinely overcrowded and that the prison building programme being undertaken at present needs to be ‘future proofed’ to cater for an on-going increase in the female prison population.


Thornton Hall Prison: Solution or Problem?

on Tuesday, 13 November 2007. Posted in Issue 56 The Anniversary Issue

Tony O’Riordan SJ is Director of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice

November, 2007

Community opposition to the new prison

pdf Thornton Hall Prison: Solution or Problem?


John on the Prison Carousel

Having completed a nine-month sentence, John was released from Mountjoy Prison in March 2007. For the entire duration of his imprisonment, John was ‘on protection’, because of fears for his safety. This meant that he spent twenty-three, and sometimes almost twenty-four, hours each day locked up in a cell on his own. When he was released he had no place to live. Homeless and adrift, he began to drink heavily and to abuse prescription drugs. Over the next few weeks, he was arrested several times for being drunk and disorderly and for shoplifting.

An Award Ceremony For Successful Criminals?

on Wednesday, 25 October 2006. Posted in Issue 53 Rehabilitation in Irish Prisons: Are we for Real?, 2006

October, 2006

Article by Tony O’Riordan SJ

Imagine if we introduced an annual award ceremony for Ireland’s most successful criminals. Who might be present at such a gala event and who would be likely to receive nominations and awards?

It is unlikely that such an event will ever happen but the very suggestion might help us think about some of the problems with our contemporary images and assumptions about crime, anti-social behaviour and fairness in Irish society.

Hopelessness and Suicide in Prison

on Thursday, 31 July 2003. Posted in Issue 34 Facing up to Mental Illness, 1999

Tony O'Riordan, SJ

April 1999


Why do people kill themselves? Because they have lost hope. People who have hope can envisage a future and can see what they are going to do tomorrow, next week and even in the years ahead. This ability to look forward to the future with a degree of confidence is what keeps us going in life.

Sadly it seems as if a growing number of Irish people are lacking in hope. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of suicides in Ireland in recent years, particularly among young males. 359 suicides were recorded in the first 9 months of last year. It is estimated that the figure for the entire year will exceed 500. This will be significantly more than the number of people killed in road accidents in 1998, which is estimated at 460.

The Claims Industry and the Public Interest

on Thursday, 31 July 2003. Posted in Issue 35 The Claims Industry and the Public Interest, 1999

Tony O'Riordan SJ and Bill Toner, SJ

June 1999


Processing personal injury claims is big business. In the Dublin Area Yellow Pages for 1998/9, 44 pages of advertising are devoted to solicitors (as against 33 pages to computing-related services, 24 to building services, and 9 to auctioneers, estate agents and valuers). In the \'solicitors\' section there are 23 full-page advertisements costing between £10,000 to £16,000 each The total cost of the advertisements in this section is about £500,000. The content of these advertisements is dominated by the item of personal injury claims. Bold headings proclaim "Personal Injury Law is Our Business", "No-Win No-Fee" etc.

Much of the analysis of the so-called \'compo culture\' has focused on four factors:

Immigration: More Than Just Numbers

on Thursday, 31 July 2003. Posted in Issue 36 Cherishing our Old Folk, 1999

Tony O\'Riordan, SJ

December 1999

The recent trend of immigration

Much of the focus on immigration has been as a result of the growing number of asylum seekers arriving in Ireland in recent years. However the recent trend of immigration in Ireland shows that apart from asylum seekers there are a considerable number of immigrants each year. (see Table 1). In fact even with the increase in asylum seekers there are 10 times more immigrants arriving in Ireland than those seeking asylum.

Care In Chaos

on Wednesday, 30 July 2003. Posted in Issue 32 The 'Dependency Culture': A Good or a Bad Thing?, 1998

Fr Tony O'Riordan, SJ

July, 1998



Prisoners aged under 21 make up about 33% of the prison population as against the EU average of 10%. In fact on 15 January 1998 there were 730 offenders between the ages of 15 and 21 in custody. Even more disturbing is the fact that 43% of those committed to St. Patrick\'s Institution have already served at least one previous sentence. Given this high level of repeat offending it is questionable if the prison system is achieving its objectives of rehabilitation and re-socialisation, as well as those of security and safe custody.

We tend to think that law defines what crime is. This makes sense because contemporary legal codes are concerned with marking out the territory where conduct is permissible by specifying the conduct that is outlawed. Yet the earliest bodies of law – consider for example, the Torah or Hammurabi’s Code – are at least as committed to articulating the good as proscribing the bad... Read full editorial

Working Notes is a journal published by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. The journal focuses on social, economic and theological analysis of Irish society. It has been produced since 1987.