Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (532)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

544 Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide an update on renovation plans for Cork, Mountjoy in Dublin, and Limerick prisons; and his plans to ensure that overcrowding in those prisons is not exacerbated during renovation work. [34835/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice and Equality)

I can advise the Deputy that I have received a detailed business case from the Irish Prison Service recommending the replacement of Cork Prison with a new facility on the adjacent car-park and green-field site. While planning for the project is at a preliminary stage, it is not possible at this juncture to give a definite time-line for delivery. Cork prison will remain fully operational until then.

The "C" Wing in Mountjoy prison has been fully refurbished including the provision of in-cell sanitation and is now fully operational. The "B" Wing is currently undergoing a similar refurbishment and will be completed in early November 2012. Tenders are currently being finalised for similar programmes of work in the "A" and "D" Wings with the "A" Wing commencing in early December 2012 and the "D" Wing scheduled for mid-2013.

The Irish Prison Service will be providing me with a full business case in September 2012 for a significant re-development in Limerick Prison. This will involve the replacement of the early 19th century "A" and "B" Wings with modern cellular accommodation including full in-cell sanitation, showers and a range of ancillary facilities. Following the necessary approval, planning and tender processes it is hoped that construction will commence in May/June 2013 with completion/commissioning in early 2015.

The new Midlands block due to open in late 2012, offering a potential 300 additional spaces, will ensure that overcrowding will not be exacerbated during the works in Mountjoy and Limerick prisons.