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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 on the Mountjoy campus in Dublin, and the remainder are held in a separate part of Limerick Prison.

17-year-old boys detained on remand are held in a separate wing in St Patrick's Institution, and 17-year-old boys detained under sentence are held in a separate wing of Wheatfield Place of Detention. Both prisons are in Dublin, and the continuing practice in Ireland of detaining children in prison is in direct contravention of international human rights standards

Information on the individual prisons is included below.

Map of Irish Prisons

Image: Irish Prison Service

Mountjoy Campus, Dublin

Campus Governor: Brian Murphy

Deputy Campus Governor: Michael Lawton

Mountjoy Prison

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

Governor: Brian Murphy

Current operational capacity: 554
Daily average occupancy in 2013: 537
Recommended maximum: 554

Mountjoy Prison is a closed, medium security prison for males. It is the main committal prison for Dublin city and county.

Visiting times/directions

Dóchas Centre

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

Governor: Mary O'Connor

Current operational capacity: 105
Daily average occupancy in 2013: 127
Recommended maximum: 105

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.

Visiting times/directions

St. Patrick's Institution

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

Governor: John Kavanagh

Current operational capacity: 34
Daily average occupancy in 2013: 129 (operational capacity was reduced in 2014)

St. Patrick’s Institution is a closed, medium security place of detention for males aged 17 detained on remand.

Visiting times/directions

Training Unit

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

Governor: Jean Carey

Current operational capacity: 96
Daily average occupancy in 2011: 105
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.

Visiting times/directions


West Dublin Prison Campus

Campus Governor: Colm Barclay

Deputy Campus Governor: John Farrell

Wheatfield Place of Detention

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

Governor: Patrick Kavanagh

Current operational capacity: 550
Daily average occupancy in 2013: 626
Recommended maximum: 550

Wheatfield Place of Detention is a closed, medium security prison for adult males and for sentenced 17 year old juveniles.

Visiting times/directions

Cloverhill Remand Prison

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

Governor: Mr. Ronan Maher

Current operational capacity: 431
Daily average occupancy in 2013: 402
Recommended maximum: 414

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

Visiting times/directions


Arbour Hill Prison

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

Governor: Liam Dowling

Current operational capacity: 142
Daily average occupancy in 2013: 141
Recommended maximum: 131

Arbour Hill Prison is a closed, medium security prison for males aged 18 years and over. Its prisoner profile is largely made up of long term sentenced prisoners.

Visiting times/directions


Limerick Prison

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

Governor: Patrick Dawson

Current operational capacity: 220 males / 28 females
Daily average occupancy in 2013: 225 males / 29 females
Recommended maximum: 185 males / 24 females

Limerick Prison is a closed, medium security prison for males and females aged 18 years and over. It is the committal prison for males for counties Clare, Limerick and Tipperary and for females for all six Munster counties.

Visiting times/directions


Cork Prison

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

Governor: James Collins

Current operational capacity: 210
Daily average occupancy in 2013: 231
Recommended maximum: 173

Cork Prison is a closed, medium security prison for adult males. It is the committal prison for counties Cork, Kerry and Waterford.

Visiting times/directions


Castlerea Prison

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

Governor: Martin Reilly

Current operational capacity: 340
Daily average occupancy in 2013: 354
Recommended maximum: 300

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

Visiting times/directions


Loughan House Open Centre

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

Governor: Eddie Mullins

Current operational capacity: 140
Daily average occupancy in 2013: 124
Recommended maximum: 140

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.

Visiting times/directions


Portlaoise Prison Campus

Campus Governor: Martin Mullen

Midlands Prison

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

Governor: 

Current operational capacity: 870
Daily average occupancy in 2013: 762
Recommended maximum: 870

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

Visiting times/directions

Portlaoise Prison

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

Governor: Ethel Gavin

Current operational capacity: 291
Daily Average Occupancy in 2013: 262
Recommended maximum: 291

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.

Visiting times/directions


Shelton Abbey

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

Governor: Conal Healy

Current operational capacity: 115
Daily average occupancy in 2013: 104
Recommended maximum: 115

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

Visiting times/directions

Source: Irish Prison Service

* “Current operational capacity” means the number of beds currently available to accommodate prisoners in the prison.
** "Recommended maximum" means the bed capacity according to the Inspector of Prisons, and presuppose that relevant structured activity for all prisoners for a minimum of 5 hours per day, 5 days per week is provided in addition to appropriate out of cell time, exercise and recreation periods.