Arbour Hill Prison

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Arbour Hill Prison
Arbour Hill Prison signage.JPG
Arbour Hill Prison is located in Central Dublin
Arbour Hill Prison
Location in Central Dublin
Security classMedium security
Opened1848 (civilian 1975)
Managed byIrish Prison Service
GovernorMr. Raphael O’Keeffe

Arbour Hill Prison (Irish: Príosún Chnoc an Arbhair) is a prison and military cemetery located in the Arbour Hill area near Heuston Station in the centre of Dublin, Ireland. The prison is the national centre for male sex offenders.[1]


The prison was designed by Sir Joshua Jebb and Frederick Clarendon and opened on its present site in 1848, to house military prisoners. The church has an unusual entrance porch with stairs leading to twin galleries for visitors in the nave and transept. Another unusual feature is the Celtic round tower which erupts from a rectangular base. It opened as a civilian prison in 1975.

The adjoining Church of the Sacred Heart, which is the prison chapel for Arbour Hill prison, is maintained by the Department of Defence. At the rear of the church lies the old cemetery, where lie the remains of British military personnel who died in the Dublin area in the 19th and early 20th century.

An interesting feature is the tunnel which runs from St Bricans Military Hospital, via the Prison to the former Collins Barracks.

A doorway beside the 1916 memorial gives access to the Irish United Nations Veterans' Association house and memorial garden.


Notable former inmates include Ray Burke TD. Former Irish Times journalist Tom Humphries is a current inmate.[2]

1916 leaders[edit]

1916 Commemoration Wreath Laying Ceremony 2010

The military cemetery behind this prison is the burial place of 14 of the executed leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising. Among those buried there are Patrick Pearse, James Connolly and Major John MacBride. The leaders were executed in Kilmainham Gaol and their bodies were transported to Arbour Hill for burial.

The graves are located under a low mound on a terrace of Wicklow granite in what was once the old prison yard. The grave site is surrounded by a limestone wall on which the names are inscribed in Irish and English. On the prison wall opposite the grave site is a plaque with the names of other people who were killed in 1916.


Arbour Hill Prison with Church of the Sacred Heart in the distance

The prison is located on Arbour Hill at the rear of the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks, Dublin 7. The area is also the site of the Arbour Hill Military Barracks.

Bus Route(s): Nos. 37, 39 , 70 from city centre.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Gallagher, Conor (24 October 2017). "Tom Humphries jailed for 2½ years for grooming and sexual abuse of girl". Irish Times. Retrieved 24 October 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°20′58.3″N 6°17′15.8″W / 53.349528°N 6.287722°W / 53.349528; -6.287722