Limerick Prison has received a €15 million boost in funding towards its redevelopment project.
The increase was announced as part of Budget 2021 and brings the total capital available for the project in 2021 to €36 million.
Alan Armstrong of the Press and Communications Office says that the funding will provide for a wide variety of new facilities.
“Limerick Prison will see a stand-alone unit for female prisoners, staff facilities, a new kitchen, a new visits and reception area, a laundry, and training and recreation facilities,” said Mr Armstrong.
The prison currently has an operational capacity of 220 males and 28 females and serves the counties of Clare, Limerick, and Tipperary for males, and the entirety of Munster for females.
Limerick Prison is one of only two Irish prisons which provide for female prisoners, the other being the Dóchas Centre in Mountjoy Prison, Dublin.
According to Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, this new funding is also intended to eliminate the controversial practice of ‘slopping out’, wherein the human waste of the prisoners must be manually disposed of each morning due to their lack of access to a flushing toilet during the night.
“This major project is scheduled for completion in the last quarter of 2021,” stated Mr Armstrong.
The refurbishment of the prison began in 2019 and is currently ongoing.
Mr Armstrong explained that it would not be possible to provide a precise date for completion as the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in some uncertainty regarding the timeline.