The School of Law in the University of Limerick and the Irish Criminal Bar Association hosted a very successful conference on sentencing practices in Ireland on Saturday November 29th. Almost 100 delegates heard from leading members of the legal profession including the Hon. Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly, judge of the HC, and adjunct professors of the School of Law, His Hon. Judge Thomas O’Donnell, Judge of the Circuit Court and Judge Michael Reilly, Inspector of Prisons. The delegates discussed the many factors which impact upon sentencing decisions in our courts and the impact of time in prison on individuals. The speakers also examined the alternatives to custodial sentences and questioned the value of prison when compared to other forms of punishment, hearing from vital stakeholders in the criminal justice system including the head of the Irish Prison and Probation services.
The conference also heard a moving speech form victim representative, Ms. Joan Deane (Founder member of AdVIC) on her experience of the criminal justice system as the mother of a homicide victim.
Dr Eimear Spain, School of Law, UL
Mr Michael Donnellan, Irish Prison Service Director General
Judge Michael Reilly, Inspector of Prisons
Mr Tom O’Malley, School of Law, NUIG
The Hon. Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan, Judge of the Court of Appeal
Ms. Libby Charlton, Chair of the Irish Criminal Bar Association (ICBA)
Mr Jack Nicholas, Executive Council ICBA and Adjunct lecturer in the School of Law, UL
Judge Emer Mary Larkin, Judge of the District Court
Mr Vivian Geiran, Director of Irish Probation Service
Mr Brendan Nix, Senior Council
His Hon. Judge Thomas O’Donnell, Judge of the Circuit Court