#Budget2019: Limerick Prison locks down €32.3m boost for major improvements

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Limerick Prison has been given a €32.3m boost in a move which will see major improvements at the Mulgrave Street facility

Limerick Prison has been given a €32.3m boost in a move which will see major improvements at the Mulgrave Street facility

LIMERICK Prison has been given a €32.3m boost in a move which will see major improvements at the Mulgrave Street facility.

In his budget announcement this week, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe singled out works on Limerick Prison as part of €220m capital budget funding for the Justice department.

And this Wednesday, Fine Gael Senator Maria Byrne has revealed a significant portion of this will go to the redevelopment of the jail, with in-cell sanitation among the improvement works taking place.

The overall project will see the construction of a new accommodation block to replace the existing A and B wings at the prison. This will see the practice of ‘slopping out’ coming to an end.

In addition to the accommodation block, a new women’s prison will also be constructed within the current site at Mulgrave Street – doubling the capacity for female prisoners.

“This will create jobs – there will be construction positions and extra prison officers, as it will have to be serviced. So it’s positive in this regard,” she said, “It’s great the courthouse is now right alongside the prison. The prisoners will now be given a better quality of life. It literally will be an upgrade of a facility which has not been improved in a great number of years.”

Elsewhere in Budget 2019, the Limerick to Cork M20 motorway project was earmarked for planning works to progress early in the New Year, something welcomed by former Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan.

Shannon Foynes Port is to receive a share in €587m to improve  ​its connectivity, something welcomed by its chief executive Patrick Keating.

“After already being singled out in Project Ireland 2040 and the National Development Plan this year as a ‘National Strategic Outcome’, the attention given by Minister Donohoe in his budget speech to the planned investment in connectivity is further reassurance the key infrastructure will go ahead,” he added.

And Troy Studios also received a boost, with Mr Donohoe announcing the extension of the film corporation tax credit from 2020 to December 2024.

There will be a time limited regional uplift of some five per cent over four years, Senator Kieran O’Donnell confirmed.

For more on Budget 2019, see p4 and p18