Tánaiste leads tributes following death of Inspector of Prisons Judge Michael Reilly

Judge Reilly served as Inspector of Prisons since 2008

Tánaiste leads tributes following death of Inspector of Prisons Judge Michael Reilly

Judge Michael Reilly. Photo: RollingNews.ie

Tributes have been paid to Judge Michael Reilly, the Inspector of Prisons, who died suddenly earlier today.

Judge Reilly was appointed as the Inspector of Prisons in 2007, and served in the position from January 2008.

In a statement, Justice Minister and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald expressed her deepest condolences to Judge Reilly's family.

Minister Fitzgerald said: "He was robust and fair-minded in the way he carried out his work as Inspector of Prisons; he was not afraid to criticise where this was merited, but he retained the respect of everyone involved in penal policy throughout his tenure as Inspector. Judge Reilly was determined that his work would make a difference, and it did.

"I worked very closely with Judge Reilly and I found him to be a very warm genuine, caring person with a deep interest and commitment to the work he was carrying out so diligently and so carefully," she added.

Michael Donnellan, Director General of the Irish Prison Service, has also paid tribute, saying: "Judge Reilly has given great service as Inspector of Prisons since 2008 and, since my appointment as Director General of the Irish Prison Service in 2011, I have been privileged to work closely with him and to witness the passion and dedication that he showed for the role.

"Judge Reilly's reports and recommendations have been the catalyst for many changes in the Irish Prison Service and his contribution to prison reform has been hugely significant."

Charlie Flanagan also paid tribute to Judge Reilly: