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Cork Prison (Irish: Príosún Chorcaí)[2] is an Irish penal institution on Rathmore Road, Cork City, Ireland. It is a closed, medium security prison for males over 17 years of age, with capacity for 275 prisoners.[3] It is immediately adjacent to Collins Barracks and near the Glen area of the city.

Cork Prison
Cork Prison is located in Ireland
Cork Prison
LocationRathmore Road, Cork City
Coordinates51°54′32″N 8°27′38″W / 51.9088°N 8.4606°W / 51.9088; -8.4606
Security classMedium Security
Former nameCollins Barracks
Managed byIrish Prison Service
GovernorPatrick Dawson[1]

While the current prison facility was built and opened as a €45m development in 2016, it replaced an existing 19th century prison facility on the same road.


Detention Barracks (1806)Edit

In 1806 a military barracks was opened by the British Government on Rathmore Road, Cork City, the new complex included a Detention Barracks for use by the military.

In 1916, during a round-up following the Easter Rising, the nationalist Kent family resisted arrest at their home in Castleyons, County Cork. In an ensuing shoot-out, Richard Kent and Constable William Rowe were killed. The following week Thomas Kent was convicted of the murder of Constable Rowe, and executed and buried at the prison.[4]

Following independence in 1922 the barracks and the associated prison were taken over by the Irish Government and the complex was renamed Collins Army Barracks.

The Detention Barracks remained in the possession of the Irish Army until 1972.

Cork Prison (1972)Edit

The military prison buildings, previously part of the broader barracks, were handed over to the Department of Justice for use as a civil prison. Collins Barracks itself remained in the control of the Irish Army, with the prison facility serviced with separate access via Rathmore Road.

The prison facility opened as a committal prison after considerable refurbishment in 1983.[5]

In the following decades, overcrowding became an issue. Though the official bed capacity was 272, in 2009 for example, the prison had a daily average inmate population of 298.[6] The practice of "slopping out" was noted as a concern,[7][8] and in 2011 a visiting committee described some parts of the 19th century facility as "archaic and Dickensian".[9]

The old Cork Prison building closed on 12 February 2016 after 210 years of operation as a military detention facility (since 1806) and a civilian prison (since 1972).

It has since been used as a filming location, including for the films Maze (2017) and Michael Inside (2017).[10]

"New" Cork Prison (2016)Edit

In 2016, the older prison buildings were replaced by a new facility - constructed directly across Rathmore Road from the original prison. The new €45m prison facility is located on a 6-acre site.[11] Built by PJ Hegarty and Sons in 20 months, it has improved monitoring facilities,[12] and an operational capacity of 310 inmates.[citation needed]

James Collins retired as Governor of Cork prison in March 2016 and has been replaced by Governor Patrick Dawson.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Cork Prison". 17 April 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Priosuin agus Áiteanna Coinneala (Prisons and Places of Detention)" (in Irish). Citizens Information Centre. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  3. ^ Barry Roche (22 January 2016). "New €45 million Cork Prison will mark 'a major improvement'". Irish Times. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  4. ^ Brian Hayes Curtin (27 February 2014). "Mystery of Cork's 1916 patriot may be solved soon". Cork Independent.
  5. ^ Irish Prisons Inspectorate (2007). Cork Prison Inspection: 5th - 12th June 2007 (PDF). Dublin.
  6. ^ Irish Prison Service (2010). Annual Report (PDF). Dublin. pp. 10–12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 May 2011.
  7. ^ Liz Dunphy (12 February 2016). "Prisoners moving into the new €40m Cork Prison today". Evening Echo. Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  8. ^ "End of 'slopping-out' at new Cork prison". RTÉ News. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  9. ^ Peter Murtagh (8 June 2013). "Minister told Cork Prison overcrowded, 'archaic and Dickensian'". Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Eoin English (22 January 2016). "New era dawns for Cork's new €42m state-of-the-art prison facility". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  12. ^ O'Neill, Kevin (4 May 2016). "Cork Prison inmate locked outside in yard all night". Evening Echo. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)