Young people aged between 17 and 20 currently being held at St Patrick's Institution should be transferred by the end of the year to allow for the facility to be closed.

Speaking at the publication of the reports of visiting committees at a number of Irish prisons, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said the transfers at St Patrick's were "anticipated".

The institutions covered in the reports are Loughan House, Mountjoy, Portlaoise, St Patrick's Institution, the Training Unit and Wheatfield Prison.

Minister Shatter said he was particularly pleased to note positive comments in the reports on the refurbishment of the B Wing of Mountjoy Prison, including the provision of in-cell sanitation facilities in 95 cells.

He said this was a significant step towards the elimination of the practice of "slopping out".