Cork Prison was at 117% capacity at the start of the month.

Report on old prison due by mid 2024

A report on the future of the old Cork prison is expected to be published later this year, the Cork Independent has learned.

Engineering consultants have been asked for a detailed assessment of the old Cork prison facility and to provide a feasibility report with various options for its potential.

The news comes following months of speculation on Leeside that the formerly used prison would be used once again to house inmates due to overcrowding in the new Cork Prison, which opened in 2016.

Figures for 1 May 2024, the most recent available, showed that Cork Prison’s capacity was at 117%. The facility has a bed capacity of 296, however on 1 May there were 346 in custody. On 1 April, it was at 116% capacity, on 1 March it was at 109%, 111% on 1 February and 112% on 1 January.

A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service confirmed to the Cork Independent: “The Irish Prison Service has appointed engineering consultants to carry out a detailed assessment of the old Cork Prison facility and to provide a feasibility report on the site with various options for its potential short, medium and long-term use.”

However the spokesperson also added: “It is important to recognise that multiple reports including those by the Inspector of Prison and the CPT (European Committee for the Prevention of Torture) and the 2012 feasibility study on Cork Prison highlighted at the time serious deficiencies on the physical conditions of the former prison and significant health and safety concerns which resulted in the then closure of the facility and the construction of a new prison.”

The spokesperson also confirmed to the newspaper that the report is expected by a mid-year point in 2024.