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    • #706800
      d_d_dallas
      Participant

      Minister McDowell has published plans to close the ‘joy and replace it with a modern prison on a greenfield site. The deal is expected to involve giving the existing ‘joy building to a developer for cash and a new prison to be built.

      What options are there for this old relic on the North side once a developer gets their hands on it? Is any of it protected or worth protecting?

    • #740468
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Quote “The deal is expected to involve giving the existing ‘joy building to a developer for cash and a new prison to be built.”

      This type of deal always amazes me but in this case I am particularly dumbstruck.

      What are the chances of finding a developer who has a cost advantage in both restoring heritage properties and constructing institutional type buildings.

      Surely two tenders should seperate this deal,

      one a construction tender

      Two a for sale by tender with the future use linked to the process.

      That aside I don’t think holding up a granny with a needle should get you a North Circular Road address.

    • #740469
      PaulC
      Participant

      Nobody is suggesting that the Joy is to be restored. It certainly is not worth resoring anyway. And even if it was restored, what purpose would it have?
      DCC should ensure that it is repaced by a high quality high-density residential scheme.

    • #740470
      kefu
      Participant

      Huge chunks of it are protected structures, chimneys etc.

    • #740471
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Paul C, that must be how the developers will be able to fund the development of another prison in an ‘out of town’ location. The chimneys may be used in a similar way to the Gallery Quay development.

    • #740472
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Quote “DCC should ensure that it is repaced by a high quality high-density residential scheme.”

      Forgetting the listed elements of Mountjoy for a minute. Why does the minister have to link two completely different propositions together?

      Constructing a prison at edge-city involves what would in essence amount to an engineered solution. High walls M60 turrets and a very basic standard of interior decor.

      Constructing a hi-spec residential development in an inner suburb/outer city centre requires a high end architectural solution.

      I just don’t see the link beyond the initial appraisal calculations. i.e The Mountjoy site is worth x-million to the private sector to formulate their own valuation.

      A prison would cost y-million to build at an edge-city location (including a fair profit to cover risk)

      Where is the correlation that requires one developer to complete both projects?

      None of us know Mountjoy well I’d imagine but I suspect there are some elements of the complex that would be listed complicating the situation.

    • #740473
      d_d_dallas
      Participant

      I don’t think a Developer would be unable to pull this off – in essence a developer is a money man. Treasury Holdings for example develop high quality office and residential, but also have waste management and windfarm operations. Outsourcing is the key here – it’s getting the right deal maker to make it all slot together that the tender should focus on.

    • #740474
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Quote “Outsourcing is the key here – it’s getting the right deal maker to make it all slot together that the tender should focus on.”

      Hmmm I thought thats what the Government were paid to do.

      I think you are right to highlight Treasury as they are probably about the only property company in Ireland with the breath of experience to take it on.

      That would amount to anti-competitive practice
      I support the move to a green-field location at edge-city or an adjoining town.

      But lumping the two tenders together is ridiculous and lazy in the extreme. It would ultimately lead to the prison having a higher net cost than a two-tender process

      There are specialist prison contractors in Europe who would not get involved once the situation was complicated by residential development.

      The Mountjoy land is simply a non-core asset that is surplus to requirements.

      Best practice with non-core assets would suggest a sale by tender that is unhindered by the requirement for a prison. :confused:

    • #740475
      d_d_dallas
      Participant

      In an ideal world…

      …but we are talking about our beloved government who obviously would rather a quick deal to offload all the problems onto someone else in one swift move.

    • #740476
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Do I detect a little cynacism D_D?

      What other Country allows cost over-runs like the LUAS or price fluctuations like the Metro costings?

      I don’t think it is too much to ask for two seperate tenders.

      A place of detention on the scale of Mountjoy would attract tenders from far and wide.

      I can think of at least ten property developers who would probably submit a tender to acquire such a prime D7 site.

      I can only think of of one group who would submit both.

      It is too divergent a co-incidence of wants, which would deliver little more than a bartering process.

      What they need to do is get on top of the tender process and enforce contracts once signed.

    • #740477
      GrahamH
      Participant

      So a year on, any ideas what use will be made of the Mountjoy site?

      By the way you just have to see the house on the news that’s going to be affected by the building of the new prison – a Dallas Palladian pile in a field, right next to the prison site – currently up for sale for over €2million 🙂 Catch it on News 2 at 11.00.

      Deal signed for new Mountjoy Prison site

      26 January 2005

      A land deal worth €29.9 million for the new Mountjoy Prison site has been signed.
      The new site for the prison is on 150 acres in Thorntown in north Co Dublin.

      Both the male and female prisons on Dublin’s North Circular Road will be closed and a new step-down complex with different grades of security will be built. The Government has said it would be too costly to renovate the old prisons.
      The new prison will be built as part of a public private partnership.

      Plans have yet to be drawn up and the planning process will be conducted in accordance with the Local Government Planning and Development Act. Precise details of the plans will not be displayed for security reasons.

      The Prison Service says the new women’s prison will replicate the existing Dochas Centre. It also says it will listen to the concerns of local residents and endeavour to take them into account when building the jail.

      The new prison is due to be operational in 2008.

      Copyright: RTE

    • #740478
      Lotts
      Participant

      Anyone know the justification for public private partnership in this case. I though the obvious plan was sell the current city center prison and use the cash to build the new one in (nearly) Meath.
      Going to be hard on visitors to the prison to get there from…oh – anywhere I guess. except Thorntown

    • #740479
      Rory W
      Participant

      @Lotts wrote:

      Going to be hard on visitors to the prison to get there from…oh – anywhere I guess. except Thorntown

      Well if you don’t want to do the time…

      Green field site is excellent idea – make sure there is a large exclusion zone around it so people can’t chuck lumps of heroin over the wall as they do in the Joy

    • #740480
      d_d_dallas
      Participant

      Anyone who’d cough up €2m to live in that house next door should be sent to the proposed prison!

    • #740481
      Mob79
      Participant

      The news says they’ll get en suite cells with tv’s! nice for some.

    • #740482
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Hopefully they’ll have laptops and broadband too so we can get the latest pics of the new building 🙂

      Who in their right mind would want to buy this now – sure six-column porticos have been standard since at least 1996 😀

      Yes overall it’s good news about Mountjoy – surprising how few new details emerged about the city site though, all the hype surrounded the new location.
      McDowell speaking on the radio about a year ago suggested that a free bus service or similar would operate between Dublin and the prison for inmates’ families etc to visit. May prove a tad controversial…

    • #740483
      anto
      Participant

      If most of Mountjoy’s inmate are from Dublin’s inner city, and I’m led to believe they are, surely putting it some place with little or no public transport links will hugely inconvenience families visiting etc. Whatever about the criminals being locked up, what about the families and kids? These people are some of the poorest and most marginalised in the country so obviuosly MacDool doesn’t give a shit about them.

    • #740484
      kefu
      Participant

      Why should we continue to waste several square miles of Dublin’s finest real estate on prisons, which only serve as dead area and hold back the regeneration of the city? The city centre prisons – Arbour Hill included – should be closed, moved out to greenfield and redeveloped as something useful.
      The Prison Service have already run feeder buses in the past to Wheatfield Prison out in Clondalkin. Far too much prime space in this city is already wasted on “the poorest and most marginalised”.
      I think that last posting would get a better hearing on Indymedia, Anto.

    • #740485
      Pug
      Participant

      and senator joe o toole denies all involvement of knowledge in the deal even though the farmer benfitting from it is his brother in law and senator joe o tooles back garden backs on to the land apparently. Seemingly the Department approached the farmer out of the blue….

    • #740486
      Rory W
      Participant

      @anto wrote:

      Whatever about the criminals being locked up, what about the families and kids? These people are some of the poorest and most marginalised in the country so obviuosly MacDool doesn’t give a shit about them.

      Boo hoo I feel so sorry for them – my god they may have to suffer a provincial bus – imagine that, they might have to mix with commuters

    • #740487
      J. Seerski
      Participant

      If Luke Gardiner were around today he’d relish the opportunity to complete the Royal Circus that he planned nearby and execute it here instead! The Irish Builder periodical maintained that it was the failure to complete this grand scheme that halted the Northside’s social climb and in reality began its development stagnation, followed on by decline….

      Build the Royal Circus! Or would it be called Republic Circus now as we are no longer part of the Union?!!! 🙂

    • #740488
      burge_eye
      Participant

      @Rory W wrote:

      Boo hoo I feel so sorry for them – my god they may have to suffer a provincial bus – imagine that, they might have to mix with commuters

      I may be an awful fascist but anyway; when you get sent to prison you relinquish certain rights. You could argue, for example, that your family pay the price too. To use an age old cliche, it isn’t a holiday camp. As RoryW says, if law abiding (or at least, those who haven’t been caught yet) people and their families have to use the goddamn bus then….

      What I can’t really understand are the watered down arguments of the people living near the proposed site. Their new “neighbours” fall into 2 categories; those who get to leave at 5pm and those who don’t. The ones who get to leave – and those who visit – will probably bring custom to the area. They only have to worry about the rest when the gate’s left open…. Let’s stop beating about the bush, the real problem – as it would be for me, frankly – is the loss of re-sale value to their houses. I don’t blame them but, at the same time, I don’t know what they’ll be able to do about it.

    • #740489
      kefu
      Participant

      The re-sale issue is a bit of a red herring.
      I think it will pump the value of properties in Phibsboro through the roof.
      Which would you rather live beside – a brand new mixed use (mostly apartments, I admit) scheme, which will almost certainly be built to a high standard. Or … beside a prison, with the associated comings and goings at speed of prison vans, ambulances, garda cars, the attempted lobbing of drugs over the perimeter wall, the resultant poor state of the Royal Canal, the hangers-on.
      I think the sheer size of the Mountjoy complex, 30 acres or so, and also the Broadstone bus garage, have been holding back this part of town for years. They both represent big enormous dead spaces that you have to walk right around and offer nothing in return to the local community.
      Preserving the prison would be a total waste of time, we already have one Victorian jail at Kilmainham and it services the jail fetish crowd. The chimneys and facade should be maintained and a park/memorial should be put in place where the volunteers were buried.
      Am absolutely delighted with this plan. Fair play to Minister McDowell for taking action.
      Hopefully Dublin Bus will get the hint and do the same with Broadstone.

    • #740490
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Considering this prision will primarily serve the capital it is only appropriate and fair to families that basic access services be laid on.

    • #740491
      KarenS
      Participant

      I wonder what the design specifications would be for a prison in Ireland. Is prison meant to be a punishment or a way of excluding dangerous people from society? As some people are sent to prison for crimes that do not pose a danger to society, it seems that punishment is a goal. Is the loss of liberty the sole way the state aims to puinish prisoners? Should the design of the building form part of that punishment?

    • #740492
      TLM
      Participant

      Aims of imprisonment include retributiuon, rehabilitation, incapacitation (to commit further crimes), just desserts and more. The govt’s policy is based on a mixture of all of the above. The design should include aspects that address the need for rehabilitation…putting people in conditions making it impossible to re-integrate back into society or re-adjust to normal living conditions on release does’nt benfit anyone..

    • #740493
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @TLM wrote:

      Aims of imprisonment include retributiuon, rehabilitation, incapacitation (to commit further crimes), just desserts and more. The govt’s policy is based on a mixture of all of the above. The design should include aspects that address the need for rehabilitation…putting people in conditions making it impossible to re-integrate back into society or re-adjust to normal living conditions on release does’nt benfit anyone..

      I agree with the above, putting people into an environment where they have pool tables TVs and a ready supply of drugs doesn’t encourage rehabilitation at all. These people are criminals they have managed to get through the court system without getting off on some ridiculous technicality or the judge has finally realised that they are actually talking rot.

      There is no excuse for land as strategically located as the North Circular Rd or Dundrum Sites being used to incarcerate criminals who have been found guilty or have a sufficient suspician of guilt. These sites should be sold and the money released to pay for a facility that will be capable of detaining the prisoners in accordance with the building regulations and little else.

      The land acquisition was well handled and its location beyond the obvious nimby concerns was well chosen, close to the airport, close to a dual carriageway and on a route convenient for the Four Courts & special Criminal Court. It was also done at market value, which would I hope indicate that the State are going to start paying market prices as opposed to CPO type figures.

      Any thoughts on Mountjoy as a hotel?

    • #740494
      -Donnacha-
      Participant

      Given the state of public transport on the northside as it is, I’m less than confident that anything will be put in place to make this prison even reasonably accessible. But that probably won’t be a problem if public opinion is anything like the ‘good enough for them’ attitude to prisoners’ families in this thread. Does being related to a criminal make you one?
      Anyway, I think they should have taken the opportunity to move the prison even further out. I’m sure it won’t be long before the city sprawls out to there, and there is still plenty of land further north, near the M1 and railway line…

    • #740495
      Lotts
      Participant

      One of the factors that facilitate prisoners successful re-integration into society is maintaining social and family ties. Especially in the case of parent/child relationships.

      This is something that should be addressed in the provision of a modern purpose built jail. I worry that it is not addressed by the current plan.

      I understand that (something like) 90% of the prison population come from just 5 catchment areas. All of which have (relatively) good public transport links to Dublin city center. None of which (bar north inner city) have any public transport links to Thorntown.

      I hear that the plans to the prison will not be available for security reasons.

      But I presume they won’t be going high rise, which could have been considered for Mountjoy site. [can you imagine the uproar 😉 ]
      Which is a pity as the only modern(ish) prison that i’ve been impressed by is Chicago’s W.J Campbell Courthouse annex. It’s pretty functional – for example, all the windows are 5inchs wide which is max allowed by state standards. They run the full height of the cells though, which allows in max light. The views must be better than most prisons! I like it although the picture dosn’t really do it justice. It looks like a punch card or a bar code or something – very techy for mid 70s!


      http://www.chicagoarchitecture.info/

    • #740496
      KarenS
      Participant

      As the threat of imprisonment ought to be a deterrent to committing crime, maybe prisons should be prominent, daunting structures. That building in Chicago looks pretty frightening.

    • #740497
      GrahamH
      Participant

      What a facinating structure, really puts an alternative spin on what we consider prisons to look and operate like.
      Yes a multi-storey prison at Thorntown would have one rough ride alright; two of the most contentious forms of building in Ireland bundled into one – a high-rise prison, most people could barely bring themselves to speak the term. Might as well chuck in an archeologically significant location while you’re at it 🙂

      Is the basic Victorian star-shape model still the preferred option today? We’ve had a number of prison upgrades around the country of late – what layouts do they use?

    • #740498
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      What a facinating structure, really puts an alternative spin on what we consider prisons to look and operate like.
      Is the basic Victorian star-shape model still the preferred option today? We’ve had a number of prison upgrades around the country of late – what layouts do they use?

      Yes it is a facinating image, designed to inspire a sense of forboding.

      Graham in relation to contemporary prison design it could be described as City West Hotel Style ie industrial design with a brick facade, I think the OPW are working overtime on how to add an eight column portico to blend in with the neighbouring Southfork inspired piles.

      Regarding the acquisition price, I was amused by Neil Callanans analysis that the State paid ‘over the odds’, I am begining to wonder if he has any property background at all? I would recommend the Farmers Journal it catalogues at least 50 land sales every week, I couldn’t find one site sold in North County Dublin over the past two years done at less than 20,000 per acre. (I have no connection to CBRE who handled the transaction) I also found his analysis of Lapps Quay amusing also, the pink elevation is cute

    • #740499
      lexington
      Participant
      burge_eye wrote:
      I may be an awful fascist but anyway]

      I have to agree .

    • #740500
      notjim
      Participant

      look, this is a scientific question, do people reoffend more often if they are in prison near their family or not. it is easy to think of arguements each way, maintaining a relationship with your children versus being saved from the context in which you originally offended etc, so, really it comes down to statistics and there must be some.

    • #740501
      TLM
      Participant

      Stats from the US show rehabilitation is more effective at reducing recidvism. The present policies on crime (mainly more police, more powers, more prisons) are also hugely expensive. Crime has fallen but it could be falling faster and without having to commit the same huge amount of finances to achieve a better result. I actually think that it’s right that the land in the city was freed up, but the State has no right to cater less readily for the needs (transport of otherwise) of some members of society only because some other person in their family has committed an offence.

    • #740502
      Rory W
      Participant

      You’d sware they were moving the prison to the blasket islands the way some people are talking on this site.

      Does the fact that prisoners are kept on a site within the canals mean that they reoffend less on release – no probably not. If people want to visit their dear encarcerated bretheren in North Co Dublin then what is wrong with them having to take – shock horror – two buses. Most buses don’t run along the North Circular you know

    • #740503
      burge_eye
      Participant

      Today’s Times

      A letter has been sent to the Ministers of Justice and Finance stating that unless the project is stalled, pending consultations with the community, court proceedings will be initiated on behalf of an unnamed local woman.

      Hard to see what form these will take – did this project bypass planning?

    • #740504
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      @Lotts wrote:

      Which is a pity as the only modern(ish) prison that i’ve been impressed by is Chicago’s W.J Campbell Courthouse annex. It’s pretty functional – for example, all the windows are 5inchs wide which is max allowed by state standards. They run the full height of the cells though, which allows in max light. The views must be better than most prisons! I like it although the picture dosn’t really do it justice. It looks like a punch card or a bar code or something – very techy for mid 70s!


      http://www.chicagoarchitecture.info/

      a little similar is the Provincial Remand Centre (Gaboury Préfontaine Perry Architects) in Winnipeg – built right beside the law courts complex…

    • #740505
      TLM
      Participant

      It’s just common sense planning to locate something to which a fair number of people are likely to be travelling somewhere where they can reach it with reasonable ease (even if the purpose of that journey is to visit someone in prison).

    • #740506
      kefu
      Participant

      And if they have a feeder bus from O’Connell Street or Summerhill – what more do you need? Visiting times are set in stone so a bus would be the simple and logical conclusion. The local politicians were saying the same thing when Cloverhill and Wheatfield were opened. And what about the families of the subversives and gangsters who are put down in Portlaoise?
      I’m sure when Mountjoy was built, it was the greenfield site of its day, but it’s not now and needs to be moved away from the city centre.
      One of the things lost in this argument is that the cost of refurbishing Mountjoy to anything approaching acceptable standards would be enormous. So the only place where sufficient land at a reasonable cost is available is going to be several miles outside the M50.
      Would you be happier if the state paid €600 million for a site for criminals? Because I certainly wouldn’t be.

    • #740507
      TLM
      Participant

      I’ve already said that I think it’s right that the land in city was freed up (see my posting of yesterday above) and I never said making provision for transport would be impossibly difficult, only that it should be done. In fact I’m delighted to see Mountjoy go, as well as being an enormous dead space the facilities are atrocious (and might eventually have led to the state being litigated under the ECHR). The new location at the moment hardly seems well served by transport and it should be (by a bus from the city centre or whatever) if people are going to have to commute out there.

      One point that should be kept in mind when developing the Mountjoy site is that the northern end of the prison is a burial ground for prisoners who were executed by the Irish state under the death penalty. Kevin Barry and other patriots were exhumed in 2001 but the bodies of other former prisoners are still there. I think that should be marked in some way.

    • #740508
      kefu
      Participant

      Agree totally with you TLM on the Kevin Barry issue.
      I’ve already mentioned that in a previous post and I think it’s a certainty that some of the open space in the new development would be given over.
      I also believe the chimneys should be maintained.

    • #740509
      tommyt
      Participant

      As a Bohemians fan the possibility of trying to get a land-swap with any prospective mountjoy developers for Dalymount Park has been thrown around a bit in the past on our message board. Any valuers out there reckon dalymount would be worth more per hectare, or the same compared to the mountjoy site? I personally think if a new football ground could be built on the site it would open up the chance to create a new district centre for phibsboro if dalyer was used for a mixed use development.

    • #740510
      GrahamH
      Participant

      @kefu wrote:

      And if they have a feeder bus from O’Connell Street or Summerhill – what more do you need?

      LOL – although I completely agree about laying on a service, I think the last thing poor old O’Connell Street needs is ‘The Prison Bus’ running from outside Clery’s lol 😀
      Hasn’t the poor street suffered enough?! I’d do wonders for the image – I can just picture the signpost and timetable with the single destination marked on it – Hell and back, every 2 hours 🙂

    • #740511
      urbanisto
      Participant

      Le Grand Projet de Mons McDowell…. 😀

      Mountjoy site to be developed as urban village

      Mountjoy Prison will be turned into a village complex housing several thousand people under plans for the site announced yesterday by Minister for Justice Michael McDowell, writes Stephen Collins, Political Correspondent

      The Minister also provided details about his plans for a new prison on a 150-acre site at Thornton Hall, north Co Dublin, to replace Mountjoy.

      He confirmed that the Central Mental Hospital would move from its location in Dundrum to the new site.

      “For decades the lack of space and the poor physical infrastructure in Mountjoy Prison has impacted severely on the prison system to provide even the most basic services for prison rehabilitation. In the area of work and training, medical facilities and education, the building is simply not fit for purpose,” said Mr McDowell.

      “Those who object to the closure of Mountjoy Prison cannot at the same time expect the dedicated staff who work in our prisons to deliver a 21st century model of correctional excellence in a 19th century physical environment.”

      He said his concerns about the inadequacy of Mountjoy and the need for change were shared by many, including members of the Irish Prison Service interim board, the Inspector of Prisons and the Council of Europe.

      “The Government’s decision to vacate Mountjoy and create a new prison complex allows us to grasp a unique opportunity to reinvent the existing site as a new and vibrant place to live and work in the Dublin of the 21st century.

      “We want to take this opportunity to engage with Dublin City Council to create a new village for Dublin which will allow families to live and work in the centre of the city in a sustainable way,” said Mr McDowell.

      He added that the Mountjoy regeneration project would be carried out under the direction of the Office of Public Works, with a design team headed by one of the country’s foremost architectural firms, Heneghan Peng.

      “I look forward to seeing the inventive and inspiring solutions which they will propose for the historic structures to be retained on the site and the relationship to be formed with the adjoining canal and streets.

      “When one thinks of the redevelopment proposals for Grangegorman, the Mater, Dalymount Park, Phibsboro, as well as Mountjoy itself, it is no exaggeration to say that in a few years time this part of Dublin will be transformed.

      “Our challenge is to ensure that Mountjoy will transcend its myths and memories and become a best-practice example of urban development and a credit to Dublin city,” said Mr McDowell.

      Shi-Fu Peng, the design team leader, said it was important to recognise that Dublin was a city of villages, and the new Mountjoy village would contribute to that urban fabric.

      He added that the canal as a new public green space would play an important part in the design.

      Dealing with the issue of the new prison, Mr McDowell said that over the past few months the Prison Service and its technical advisers had been working hard on developing the master plan and outline design of the new facilities at Thornton Hall.

      “The new prison will be driven by innovation, with a unique layout incorporating the latest technology, thus generating savings in operating costs.

      The new prison complex will have a range of institutions, with differing security levels and regimes all within a secure perimeter. There will also be room on the site for running tracks, football pitches so that prisoners can have physical exercise.

      “The development will be sensitive to the local environment, and every effort will be made to minimise the visual impact of the development on the local community. A major boundary planting and landscaping scheme has been completed and when this matures it will substantially reduce the visual impact.”

      During the press conference at the Department of Justice there was a small protest outside by local residents objecting to the Thornton Hall development.

      © The Irish Times

    • #740512
      notjim
      Participant

      Wow, Henigan-Peng are on fire! Are they just doing the masterplan or will they be designing actual buildings, which would be cool. Is it true that some part of the site is being give to the nuns for a convalensce home in return for ceding some control of the mater site.

    • #740513
      jdivision
      Participant

      @tommyt wrote:

      As a Bohemians fan the possibility of trying to get a land-swap with any prospective mountjoy developers for Dalymount Park has been thrown around a bit in the past on our message board. Any valuers out there reckon dalymount would be worth more per hectare, or the same compared to the mountjoy site? I personally think if a new football ground could be built on the site it would open up the chance to create a new district centre for phibsboro if dalyer was used for a mixed use development.

      Eh, they agreed a land swap a few months ago.

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