751. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Justice her plans for the old Cork Prison given the impact the wasted land and building has on the local community in the midst of a housing crisis and in the centre of an area desperately in need of community improvement; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52605/21]


Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): The old prison at Rathmore Road, Cork was closed in February 2016 following the construction of new prison facilities on a site opposite the old prison as part of the Irish Prison Service modernisation programme and capital plan for the prison estate.
While the Irish Prison Service has no current strategic plan for the future use of the old prison, preliminary exploratory discussions have taken place with the Land Development Agency regarding options for the future use/development of the site.
I understand that options with respect to the future use of the existing facility may be very limited due to the age and condition of the buildings, which date back to the 19th century and taking into consideration the requirement to comply with current building standards and health and safety requirements.