The Minister for Justice has praised the work of prison staff and prisoners in combating the threat of coronavirus.
While launching the 2019 annual report of the Irish Prison Service, Minister Charlie Flanagan praised the efforts of prison staff, management, prisoners and volunteers - as no prisoner in this country has been infected with Covid-19 to date, and the Irish Prison Service has been internationally recognised for its work in controlling the spread of the virus.
Minister Flanagan said physical visits to prisons will be reintroduced as soon as it's safe to do so.
The annual report shows the number of people committed to prison under sentence last year increased by over 10%, with a 5% increase in the number of prisoners held on remand.
The capacity of Castlerea Prison at the end of last year was 340, and the report shows the daily average number in custody in 2019 was 306, with an average of 62 prisoners on remand or awaiting trial.