This project entailed designing and constructing a new five-storey B Division (11,000 sq. m.) attached to the existing Limerick Prison and a stand-alone two-storey female prison facility (6,900 sq. m.). The new modern B Division, replacing the existing A and B wings, provide 102 modern cells with complete in-cell sanitation. The B Division structure is a precast concrete frame with small elements of in-situ RC concrete rising walls and structural steel framing to support the precast floor slabs, precast walls and slabs. This includes finished precast slabs to cell areas. The roof is a structural steel portal frame with composite roof panels and rooflights over cell areas. All windows and doors are Irish Prison Service (IPS) high-security fittings with a complete access control system adhering to IPS requirements. Tie-in works to the existing Prison Circle building required detailed coordination and the installation of secure segregation screens between the construction site and the live prison cell wings.

Client : Irish Prison Service
Service : Public Service
Architect : Henry J Lyons
Quantity surveyors : Rogerson Reddan
Structural Engineer : Punch Consulting Engineers
Value : €50.4 million
Sustainability Accreditation : BREEAM Very Good
Limerick Prison Courtyard PJ Hegarty.

The new B Division provides modern prisoner accommodation, enhanced prisoner work and training facilities and new staff support facilities such as:

  • Staff welfare facilities and offices
  • Laundry room
  • Training kitchen
  • Carpentry workshop
  • Kitchen, canteen and recreation area
  • Workshop
  • Horticulture area
  • Exercise yard/Astro pitch
  • Observation posts
  • Lockdown area and tie-in to the existing Prison Circle
  • Plant room, which houses AHU’s water tanks, boilers, electrical rooms, data rooms and security rooms with cabling fed back to the central prison control room

The construction of the female prison facility was similar to the B Division, utilising a precast building frame and steel roof. It is a 50-bed facility that promotes autonomy, individuality and wellbeing through bright open areas and expansive living spaces. All areas of the female facility are finished to a high standard while maintaining IPS security requirements. The female facility consists of the prison gatelock, visitor reception, staff and visitor kitchen and canteen, visit rooms, prisoner reception complete with X-ray scanners, prisoner cells, workshop, gym, recreation area, medical rooms, Irish Prison Service office areas, plant room, and control room.

Limerick Prison Cell Walkway PJ Hegarty.
Limerick Prison Cell done by PJ Hegarty
Canteen at the limerick prison done by PJ Hegarty.

The new boundary wall is an IPS standard 7.2m high precast concrete security wall with a gander. The site works also included an underground sprinkler tank and pumphouse, delivery yard, astro turf pitch, handball alley, horticulture area, high-security fencing, extensive landscaped areas, concrete yards and tarmac roads and yards. The female facility courtyard includes extensive gardens and hard landscaping.

At the formal opening ceremony of the B-Wing, former Minister for Justice Simon Harris acknowledged that this complex construction project was completed to a very high standard and complimented all involved in the project for their efforts. The new prison for women was formally opened on October 18th 2023 by Justice Minister Helen McEntee.