A new prison at Wheatfield in Clondalkin in south-west Dublin is to open in June 1989.

Built on fifteen acres, Wheatfield prison is designed to accommodate three hundred and twenty prisoners. Accommodation is made up of twenty units with sixteen bedrooms and a recreational room. 

The doors are electronically locked and monitored. The furniture is fixed to prevent barricading and for the first time, each cell has its own wash hand basin and toilet. 

The Department of Justice hopes that the new prison facility will help to ease the overcrowding problem in Irish prisons. 

Minister for Justice Gerard Collins explains how the prison will be phased into operation unit by unit.

The windows of the new prison are designed to make bars unnecessary.

It is hoped that the conditions will help to reduce the number of suicides in prisons. Prisoners will now be able to communicate directly with staff from their cells. 


An RTÉ News report broadcast on 16 May 1989. The reporter is Tom McCaughren.