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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Prison by the motorway

Okay, so the new national juvenile detention centre is to be located at Lusk (subscription required), a small North Dublin village near the coast and the M1.

It will cost 145 million euro.

Fair enough, if that's what it costs, though one wonders why not build it OUTSIDE of Dublin and away from picturesque coastal villages, where land is surely cheaper.

One also wonders why this centre, like Thornton Hall before it, are being built in greater Dublin at all. We've already seen the obscene cost of Thornton Hall spiralling out of control like so many infrastructural projects before it.

But surely one way to keep the price down would be to locate these facilities outside of where property and development land cost one of the highest prices per square foot in Europe?

Locating prisons in remoter areas would have the added benefit of not assisting escaping prisoners. If anyone does get over the fence from either of these facilities, they're mere miles from the main train line and motorway to the North. Within an hour of breaking out, they could be out of the state, or indeed anywhere within it.

This is further squandering of tax payers' money, and indicative of a lack of joined-up thinking by the authorities and their 'advisory committees.'


samcrea said...

One of the main reasons for having the prison near to dublin is transport costs I presume.. Bringing the scumbags back and forth between the four courts and central criminal courts. Also most prisoners are from the Capital, and current employees of Mountjoy/St Pats will have their jobs relocated here.

JC Skinner said...

I don't think the transport costs could possibly outweigh the extended cost of building the damn prisons in Dublin to begin with.
I'm not impressed with the 'poor diddumses should be near their mammies' argument either.
And surely if the prison warders have to be relocated, here was a perfect opportunity to implement some decentralisation.

Anonymous said...

Could be something to do with building in a green zone, more laws brought in with the acceptance of the nice yo yo (Euro).

Conan Drumm said...

What ever happened to McDowell's plans to close and sell off the prison and very large acreage between Shankill and Bray? Surely they could have built there just for the building cost. And the dart passes by.

Or did friendly developers want the prime land, much as they fancy the grounds of the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum, also in South County Dublin.

JC Skinner said...

There's two very good questions, Conan.