Dublin City Council is considering using a section of the Mountjoy prison campus to help deal with the capital’s homeless problem.
The Department of Justice has offered the training unit of Dublin’s largest prison to the local authority, which is now considering it to house homeless people.
The training unit is separated from the main section of the jail and was closed earlier this year.
At the time of its closure the unit had a capacity of 96 beds.
Independent councillor Mannix Flynn said the council was considering using the facility to alleviate the city’s current homelessness crisis.
“It’s a fine building on the banks of the Royal Canal and a decision is still to be made on whether single individuals will be going in or if it will be used to house families,” Mr Flynn told the Herald.
“I’d prefer it to be used for those in great need, sleeping rough on our streets.
“There are facilities there which can help those with serious problems, and it would be a long-term solution
The Dublin councillor also thanked Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, DCC chief executive Brendan Kenny and the head of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, Eileen Gleeson, for their work in making the training unit available.
“This is a good news story and it is very welcome,” Mr Flynn said.
“It isn’t a case of the council putting homeless people into a prison.
“It is a separate complex to the main prison. I would also ask the religious congregations to look around their estates for similar buildings.
“I also believe that Collins Barracks could be used to facilitate this emergency.”