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  • Northside East

Thornton uncertainty

Friday, 15th February, 2019 1:00pm
Thornton uncertainty
Thornton uncertainty

THE future of a site in north county Dublin that was once earmarked to house a ‘super prison’ remains clouded in uncertainty.

In 2005 the Government purchased Thornton Hall with the intention of constructing a large-scale prison campus to replace the 19th century complex at Mountjoy Prison which the then Government planned to sell to fund the development.

However, due to the downturn in the economy, the scale of the project could not be accommodated within the capital allocation available and the project did not proceed.

Dublin Fingal TD Darragh O’Brien (FF) recently asked Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan his plans for the long-term use of the Thornton Hall site at Killsallaghan.  

Minister Flanagan said: “In the decade since the original plan, international research has tended towards smaller prisons within reach of support communities as the best option for rehabilitation. 

“In addition, in light of the decision not to proceed with Thornton Hall, significant capital investment has been made at the Mountjoy campus over recent years to upgrade accommodation and eliminate the practice of slopping out. 

“In the meantime, the Thornton Hall site, which is fully serviced and adjacent to Dublin Airport, remains in my Department's ownership and in recent years a working group, which included representatives from the Office of Public Works (OPW), considered future use options for the site.”

Minister Flanagan said this included discussions with Fingal County Council. 

“More recently, the site has also been flagged to the Department of Housing and Local Government, and to the Land Development Agency,” he added.  

“As such, the site will be considered both in the context of broader State requirements for land assets and future requirements in relation to detention of prisoners.”

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