WORK BEGINS TODAY on the building of a new prison in Cork. The project, which will cost in the region of €35 million, will replace the existing prison which has been there for more than 40 years.
However, there are concerns amongst residents in the area about the new prison, with some residents complaining that the new prison wall, which will be 7 metres tall, will overshadow their homes.
Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland today, one resident said that their home will be overshadowed completely and that it will have a “negative impact” on their living standards. She also said they were concerned about cells overlooking their home.
Michael Donnellan, Director General of the Irish Prison Service said that the residents were taken into account when the plans were being drawn up for the new prison. He said he met with the residents on two occasions and outlined the plans and and gave a detailed presentation on the sun shadowing issues.
He said that the prison “has been in that locale for more than 40 years” and residents in the area were aware for some years that a new prison was scheduled to be constructed.
He added that there would only be a marginal impact on homes and that it would only impact on homes.
Donnellan denied the claim that the residents were not adequately included in the plans, stating that plans were shown to them over a year ago, an environmental impact study had been carried out, plans were published and submissions were taken. He added that the plans were changed to take in the considerations of the residents following the process.
“We are building prison ten metres away from original building… everyone knew a new building was going to built there as the wall has been in-situ for last ten years,” he said.
He concluded that there “wont be any change to the building” at this stage.
The residents are considering forming a committee over the matter.