Open prison to host Christmas Market

Loughan House in Blacklion is preparing for its upcoming Christmas Food and Craft Fair.

The event will take place at the open prison facility on Friday, December 9, from 3.30-7pm.

At least 16 food and craft traders will host stalls at the event, and local chef Neven Maguire of the award winning MacNean Bistro and cookery school has supplied recipes for festive drinks for the prisoner run coffee shop menu.

The coffee shop at Loughan House was the first ever café to open to the public on Irish prison grounds back in 2016.

The upcoming event follows on from the enormous success of the Loughan House food and craft fair in August, hosted to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the facility under the Irish Prison Service.

The original building was purpose-built in 1953 as a training centre for the White Fathers Missionary Congregation but it closed in 1970.

It was purchased by the Department of Justice and opened for use as Loughan House Open Prison in 1972.

The August fair was held with support from external stakeholders including Cavan County Council.

To mark the anniversary a willow sculpture was crafted and erected by a team of prisoners depicting ‘An Bonnan Buí’ or ‘the Yellow Bittern’ which is the name of the Loughan House Social Enterprise initiative.