Written answers

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Detention Centres

11:00 pm

Photo of Seán SherlockSeán Sherlock (Cork East, Labour)
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Question 12: To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will report on plans for a new national children's detention facility; when it is expected that such a detention facility will become operational; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46169/09]

Photo of Michael NoonanMichael Noonan (Limerick East, Fine Gael)
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Question 14: To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding the new national child detention facility planed for Oberstown campus near Lusk, County Dublin; when it is expected that the design stage will be completed; the month in 2010 it is expected that the tender phase for construction will commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46302/09]

Photo of Dermot AhernDermot Ahern (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Louth, Fianna Fail)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 12 and 14 together.

In March 2008, the Government approved the development of new national children detention facilities on the Oberstown campus near Lusk, Co. Dublin. This campus is already the site of 3 of the 4 existing children detention schools, the 4th is located at Finglas, Dublin 11. The Government decision was informed by the report of the Expert Group on Children Detention Schools, which is available on www.iyjs.ie along with reports of consultations which were undertaken by the Irish Youth Justice Service (IYJS) to inform the design brief for the project.

The project is being delivered by the IYJS, an executive office of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, which has responsibility for youth justice policy matters and for children detention schools. In preparing for the development, in line with Department of Finance guidelines for capital projects and with good practice, the IYJS has established a Steering Committee to ensure robust governance and accountability measures are in place.

The Office of Public Works has been charged with designing the new facilities and managing the procurement of the construction stage of the project. The design stage is well advanced with both the concept and sketch designs having been completed. The next phase involves the completion of detailed specifications and requirements as part of the tender documentation. The tendering process, including specification and requirements, must comply with the Department of Finance guidelines for large capital projects and it is anticipated that the tendering process will be completed in late 2010.

Construction will take place over 2 phases in order to ensure that the existing detention schools, already operating on the Oberstown campus, can continue to operate and provide the necessary services to the Courts until such time as the new facilities are available. Phase 1 of the project, which will deliver sufficient new places to enable the transfer of responsibility for 16-17 year old boys from the Irish Prison Service, is expected to be completed at the end of 2012 and Phase 2 in 2014.

The Deputy will be aware, however, that tendering for the construction of the new facilities will be subject to Government approval and to the necessary funding being made available.

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