13th June 2013
By Bryan T. Smyth
The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Mr. Alan Shatter T.D.
has welcomed the support given to him by the Joint Oireachtas
Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality for the decision on the
development of a new prison in Cork.
Speaking at the Joint Oireachtas Committee debate on the draft
resolution under the Prisons Act 2007 approving the development
Minister Shatter said,”The main purpose of the new prison facility is
to replace the substandard prison accommodation in Cork and, in
particular, to provide a modern prison facility designed on the
principle of rehabilitation and resettlement.
“The construction of a new, modern prison in Cork will eliminate the
practice of prisoners having to slop out, provide adequate and
suitable accommodation for all prisoners in accordance with our
national and international obligations and will also provide the
infrastructure necessary for the education and rehabilitation of
prisoners thus enhancing public safety. Building on the site adjacent
to the existing prison will also ensure value for money for the
The day to day design capacity for the new prison complex is
approximately 275 spaces for prisoners based on double cell occupancy.
The prison will have a peak accommodation capacity for 310 prisoners
but that will only be reached in emergency type circumstances. All of
the cells will be of a size acceptable to the Inspector of Prisons for
double occupancy and all will have integral toilets and showers.
Minister Shatter is satisfied that the planned capacity of 275
prisoners is adequate for the needs of the prison’s catchment area.
The development will consist of buildings of a floor area of
approximately 15,000 square metres within a site of approximately 2.64
hectares. The buildings will be one, two or three storeys in height.
The secure facilities will be bounded by a standard height prison
perimeter wall approximately 7.2 metres in height.
Addressing the Joint Oireachtas Committee, Minister Shatter added, “I
took the opportunity to lay a document, in accordance with section
26(3) of the Prisons Act 2007, setting out my observations on the
environmental impact assessment and the rapporteur’s report.
“As there is an urgent need to proceed with the project because of the
chronic overcrowding and inadequate conditions in Cork prison, I am
keen for the resolution to be passed by both Houses before the summer
recess so that tendering for the construction of the new prison can