THE OPW HAS STARTED the tender process for the construction of a new child detention centre in north Co Dublin.
The new facility in Lusk will detain young offenders aged 16 to 17. Currently, offenders aged under 18 are being held at St Patrick’s Institution in Dublin.
The Ombudsman for Children Emily Logan welcomed the government’s decision in early April to make €50 million available for ending the practice of detaining youth offenders at adult prisons.
The practice has been in operation in Ireland for over two decades and had been heavily criticised by Logan, children’s rights groups and the Irish Human Rights Commission.
Announcing government funding for the new facility, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said that the move was key to addressing the serious problem of Ireland’s “most troubled teens”.
“The path from St Patrick’s Institute to Mountjoy Prison has been too well worn over the years,” she said. “We must interrupt the predictable path of violence and crime and repeat offending progressing to further serious offending and committals in adult prisons.”
The OPW has posted tenders calling for applications to construct the new facility in Lusk, as well as tenders to provide catering equipment, fire-suppression systems, and security systems. There is an end of August deadline for submissions.