There has been a significant improvement in the overcrowding situation at Limerick Prison, according to the Prison Visiting Committee report released this afternoon.

The report says last month there were 205 male inmates in the prison, which has capacity for 220. 

There were 31 females in the wing with capacity for 28.

The Visiting Committee also said that the new incentivised regime to deal with disciplinary issues was working well, but noted there remains a problem with substance abuse in the jail.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said work to improve visiting facilities at the jail should be completed by spring and that the tender process to build 100 new cells for male inmates is under way to be followed by a new 50 cell jail for women.