Cork ‘super prison’ plans spark concern

This is an artist’s impression of what the new multi-million euro H Block-shaped Cork prison will look like when opened in 2015.

The facility is planned for a six-acre greenfield site in a residential area, adjacent to the current jail on Rathmore Road.

Plans to build a new super prison for Munster at Kilworth Army Camp were axed after the Government opted, instead, for a Cork City development.

The current plan is causing concern, especially to some residents in The Glen area who say he prison is “far too large” for a six-acre site.

A total of 80 acres had been previously earmarked for the Kilworth facility.

A spokesman for the residents said access roads in the area were too narrow for construction traffic. Up to 200 people will be employed in the construction phase.

The new facility will have space for 310 inmates and is being built to replace the current jail which has been frequently overcrowded with numbers close to 270.

Construction is set to start next July and will be completed by the summer of 2015.

The prison will consist of one, two, and three storey buildings and will be surrounded by a 7.2m wall.

Plans for the facility were recently published by Alan Shatter, the justice minister, and people with submissions or objections have until Dec 21 to furnish them with the authorities.

It brings to an end a saga which started in May 2006 when then justice minister Michael McDowell said he was going to build a new prison on Spike Island.

Then, in May 2007, he shelved plans for that and turned his attention to a site owned by the Department of Defence in Kilworth.

Last February, there was another twist when Mr Shatter decided instead the new prison would be built in Cork City.

The plans can be viewed at Cork City Council offices in Anglesea St or at the Frank O’Connor Library on Old Youghal Road.

Observations must be made to James Farrelly, Cork Prison Rapporteur, Probation Service HQ, Haymarket St, Smithfield, Dublin 7, by 4pm on Friday, Dec 21.


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