New Cork prison building project to start next week

Work on a new €35m prison complex in Cork is to begin next week.

The €35m project will take around 18 months to build, during which up to 200 construction jobs will be created. It will replace the existing jail in Cork, which dates back to the 1800s.

The new facility will accommodate 275 prisoners based on double-cell occupancy.

Irish Prison Service director general Michael Donnellan said the focus for now was on eliminating slopping out.

"We strated with 20% of our prison service having slopping out. When this project is finished and when Mountjoy is finished, we'll be down to less than 100 cells, so that's top priority," he said.

He said that once slopping out was fully addressed, the issue of double cell occupancy could be prioritised and the aim of single-cell occupancy could be advanced.

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