Irish Penal Reform Trust

Prison Facilities in Ireland

There are 12 institutions in the Irish prison system consisting of 10 traditional “closed” institutions and two open centres, which operate with minimal internal and perimeter security. 

The Training Unit, which was a “semi-open” facility with traditional perimeter security but minimal internal security, was closed on a temporary basis on the 12th May 2017. From 7th April 2017 St Patrick’s Institution was subsumed into Mountjoy Prison.

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.

Information on the individual prisons is included below.

Irish Prisons

Image: Irish Prison Service

Mountjoy Campus, Dublin

Campus Governor: Brian Murphy

Deputy Campus Governor: Eddie Mullins

Mountjoy Prison

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

Governor: Tony Harris

Current operational capacity: 755
Daily average occupancy in 2017: 567
Recommended maximum: ***

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

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 2017: 116
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

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West Dublin Prison Campus

Campus Governor: Martin O'Neill

Deputy Campus Governor: Frances Daly

Wheatfield Place of Detention

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

Governor: Conal Healy

Current operational capacity: 550
Daily average occupancy in 2017: 438
Recommended maximum: 550 ***

Wheatfield Place of Detention is a closed, medium security place of detention for adult males.

Visiting times/directions

Cloverhill Prison

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

Governor: David Conroy

Current operational capacity: 431
Daily average occupancy in 2017: 356
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

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Arbour Hill Prison

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

Governor: Liam Dowling

Current operational capacity: 142
Daily average occupancy in 2017: 133
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

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Limerick Prison

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

Governor: Patrick Dawson

Current operational capacity: 210 males / 28 females
Daily average occupancy in 2017: 211 males / 28 females 
Recommended maximum: 185 males / 24 females

Limerick prison is a closed, medium security prison for adult males and females. It is the committal prison for males for counties Clare, Limerick and Tipperary and for females for all six Munster counties.

Visiting times/directions

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Cork Prison

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

Governor: Patrick Dawson

Current operational capacity: 296
Daily average occupancy in 2017: 272
Recommended maximum: -

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

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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 2017: 292
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

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Loughan House Open Centre

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

Governor: Maria Connolly

Current operational capacity: 140
Daily average occupancy in 2016: 109
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

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Portlaoise Prison Campus

Acting Campus Governor: Ethel Gavin

Midlands Prison

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

Governor: Ultan Mortan

Current operational capacity: 870
Daily average occupancy in 2017: 818
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: Daniel Robbins

Current operational capacity: 291
Daily Average Occupancy in 2017: 221
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

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Shelton Abbey

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

Governor: Kathy Hoctor

Current operational capacity: 115
Daily average occupancy in 2017: 98
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 (Assessment of the Irish Prison System 2013), 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.
*** Please note that the Inspector of Prisons bed capacity for Mountjoy, Wheatfield and Cloverhill Prisons will be reviewed by the Inspector of Prisons and IPS upon completion of the refurbishment works in the D Division of Mountjoy

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.

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