IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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Prison Facilities in Ireland

There are 14 institutions in the Irish Prison System consisting of 11 traditional “closed” institutions, two open centres, which operate with minimal internal and perimeter security, and one “semi-open" facility with traditional perimeter security but minimal internal security (the Training Unit). The majority of female prisoners are accommodated in the purpose built “Dóchas Centre” and the remainder are located in a separate part of Limerick Prison. 16 and 17 year old boys are held in a separate wing in St Patrick's Institution, in contravention of international human rights standards.

Information on the individual prisons is included below.

Map of Irish Prisons

Image: Irish Prison Service

Mountjoy Prison

North Circular Road,
Dublin 7.
Tel: 01 8062800
Fax: 01 8062824

Governor: Mr. Edward Whelan

Current operational capacity*: 590
Daily average occupancy in 2011: 616 
Recommended maximum**: 540

Mountjoy Prison is a closed, medium security prison for males aged 17 years and over. It is the main committal prison for Dublin city and county and the largest penal institution in the State.

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Dóchas Centre

North Circular Road,
Dublin 7.
Tel: 01 8858987
Fax: 01 8858910

Governor: Ms. Mary O'Connor

Current operational capacity*: 105
Daily average occupancy in 2011: 129
Recommended maximum**: 88

Dóchas Centre is a closed, medium security prison for females aged 18 years and over. It is the committal prison for females committed on remand or sentenced from all Courts outside the Munster area.

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St. Patrick's Institution

North Circular Road,
Dublin 7.
Tel: 01 8062896
Fax: 01 8307705

Governor: Mr. Hector Mac Lennan

Current operational capacity*: 217
Daily average occupancy in 2011: 204

St. Patrick’s Institution is a closed, medium security place of detention for males aged 16 to 21 years. It accommodates both remand and sentenced prisoners.

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Training Unit

Glengarriff Parade,
North Circular Road,
Dublin 7.
Tel: 01 8062890
Fax: 01 8307460

Governor: Mr. Edward Whelan

Current operational capacity*: 127
Daily average occupancy in 2011: 115
Recommended maximum**: 96

Training Unit is a semi-open, low security prison for males aged 18 years and over, with a strong emphasis on work and training.


Wheatfield Prison

Cloverhill Road,
Clondalkin,
Dublin 22.
Tel: 01 6209400
Fax: 01 6209430

Governor: Mr. William Connolly

Current operational capacity*: 670
Daily average occupancy in 2011: 671

Wheatfield Prison is a closed, medium security prison for males aged 17 years and over. It is the committal prison for counties Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Wexford and Wicklow.


Cloverhill Remand Prison

Cloverhill Road,
Clondalkin,
Dublin 22.
Tel: 01 6304530 / 01 6304531
Fax: 01 6304580

Governor: Mr. Sean Quigley

Current operational capacity*: 431
Daily average occupancy in 2011: 433
Recommended maximum**: 446 (with more activities)

Cloverhill Remand Prison is a closed, medium security prison for males aged 17 years and over which primarily caters for remand prisoners committed from the Leinster area.


Arbour Hill Prison

Arbour Hill,
Dublin 7.
Tel: 01 6719333
Fax: 01 6799518

Governor: Mr. Liam Dowling

Current operational capacity*: 148
Daily average occupancy in 2011: 151
Recommended maximum**: 131

Arbour Hill Prison is a closed, medium security prison for males aged 17 years and over. Its prisoner profile is largely made up of long term sentenced prisoners.


Limerick Prison

Mulgrave Street,
Limerick.
Tel: 061 204700
Fax: 061 415116

Governor: Mr. Eamonn Mullane

Current operational capacity*: 290 males and 34 females
Daily average occupancy in 2011: 301 males and 31 females
Recommended maximum**: 185 males and 24 females

Limerick Prison is a closed, medium security prison for males and females aged 17 years and over. It is the committal prison for males for counties Clare, Limerick and Tipperary and for females for all six Munster counties.


Cork Prison

Rathmore Road,
Cork City,
Cork.
Tel: 021 4518800
Fax: 021 4518860

Governor: Mr. James Collins

Current operational capacity*: 272
Daily average occupancy in 2011: 295
Recommended maximum**: 146

Cork Prison is a closed, medium security prison for males aged 17 years and over. It is the committal prison for counties Cork, Kerry and Waterford.


Castlerea Prison

Harristown,
Castlerea,
Co. Roscommon.
Tel: 094 96 25213
Fax: 094 96 26226

Governor: Mr. Martin Reilly

Current operational capacity*: 351
Daily average occupancy in 2011: 364
Recommended maximum**: 300

Castlerea Prison is a closed, medium security prison for males aged 17 years and over. It is the committal prison for remand and sentenced prisoners in Connaught and also takes committals from counties Cavan, Donegal and Longford.


Loughan House Open Centre

Blacklion,
Co. Cavan.
Tel: 071 9853059
Fax: 071 9853234

Governor: Mr. Patrick Kavanagh

Current operational capacity*: 160
Daily average occupancy in 2011: 122
Recommended maximum**: 160 (with more activities)

Loughan House Open Centre is an open, low security prison for males aged 18 years and over who are regarded as requiring lower levels of security.


Midlands Prison

Dublin Road,
Portlaoise,
Co. Laois.
Tel: 05786 72110 / 72100
Fax: 05786 72219

Governor: Mr. Colm Barclay

Current operational capacity*: 616
Daily average occupancy in 2011: 586
Recommended maximum**: 497

Midlands Prison is a closed, medium security prison for males aged 17 years and over. It is the committal prison for counties Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Offaly and Westmeath.


Portlaoise Prison

Dublin Road,
Portlaoise,
Co. Laois.
Tel: 05786 21318
Fax: 05786 20997

Governor: Mr. Derek Brennan

Current operational capacity*: 359 (increased during 2009)
Daily Average Occupancy in 2011: 270
Recommended maximum**: 359

Portlaoise Prison is a closed, high security prison for males aged 17 years and over. It is the committal prison for those sent to custody from the Special Criminal Court and prisoners accommodated here include those linked with subversive crime.


Shelton Abbey

Arklow,
Co. Wicklow.
Tel: 0402 42300
Fax: 0402 42350

Governor: Mr. Michael Lawton

Current operational capacity: 110
Daily average occupancy in 2011: 102

Shelton Abbey is an open, low security prison for males aged 19 years and over who are regarded as requiring lower levels of security.

Source: Irish Prison Service

* “Current operational capacity” means the number of beds currently available to accommodate prisoners in the prison.
** “Recommended maximum” is as stated by the Office of the Inspector of Prisonsin The Irish Prison Population – an examination of duties and obligations owed to Prisoners, 2010.

Prisons Info