A snapshot of the 280 prisoners on temporary release from Irish jails from the last day of January

Prisoners serving time for drugs offences and theft were most likely to be granted temporary release with some people released within weeks of being sent to jail.

A detailed breakdown from the Irish Prison Services reveals that of the 280 people on temporary release at the end of last month, 73 were in jail for “controlled drug offences” while 52 had been imprisoned for “theft and related offences”.

There were another 28 people given release that were serving sentences for attempts or threats to murder, and 4 who had been convicted of weapons and explosives offences.

The figures also show five people serving homicide offences – including three women from the Dóchas Centre in Dublin – had been given temporary release.

This included one man serving a sentence of more than 10 years from Mountjoy who had been sent to prison in October 2013.

There were also 12 people released who had been serving time for robbery, extortion, or hijacking, and 4 who’d been convicted of offences related to terrorism or organised crime.

In some cases, convicted criminals were released just days or weeks after being committed to prison, according to a database that was released under FOI.