Fianna Fail Justice Spokesperson Dara Calleary TD has welcomed the Government’s approval of plans to build a new prison at Thornton Hall in Dublin. Deputy Calleary has said the project must proceed without delay to ease the overcrowding crisis in our prisons.
 
Deputy Calleary commented, “I am pleased to see that Fine Gael and Labour have now realised the real benefits of the Thornton Hall development. Our prison system desperately needs this facility and we cannot afford further delays in making this a reality.
 
“I am calling on the Government to make a guarantee that the necessary funding is provided to construct and operate Thornton Hall prison.  The plans must proceed as soon as possible. Our prisons are massively over capacity giving rise to concerns about the safety and welfare of prison staff and inmates in many incidents. The sooner Thornton Hall is built the sooner we can begin to tackle these problems.
 
“The Thornton Hall development is the second major project that Fine Gael and Labour strongly opposed in opposition, but have now given approval to since they entered Government. The first involved the plans to build the National Children’s Hospital on the site of the Mater in Dublin’s north inner city. While I am delighted that the coalition parties have seen the error of their ways and have accepted the independent advice available to them, it is just further proof of their irresponsible behaviour in opposition.  
 
“Fianna Fáil will support the Government in ensuring that the Thornton Hall prison gets up and running as quickly as possible to improve the safety and humanity of our prison system.”