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Inmates make a clean getaway in €1.6m of boxers and y-fronts


Mountjoy jail

Mountjoy jail

Mountjoy jail

The Irish Prison Service (IPS) is set to spend more than €1.6m on underwear, bras, pyjamas, polo shirts and other pieces of clothing for inmates over the next three years.

Vests, socks, running shoes and anoraks are also on the list of sought-after apparel made by the IPS through the Office of Public Procurement.

Boxer shorts are more popular than Y-fronts with male inmates, with the IPS expecting 78,636 pairs of boxers and just 8,628 white Y-fronts to be needed in the three-year period.


The order also includes the requirement for dressing gowns and anoraks for the prison population, where there is currently a bed capacity of 4,375.

While the IPS does not require inmates to wear a standard uniform, prisoners entering the system have the option of availing of new clothes provided by the prison service.

Prisoners can also apply for new clothing during cold spells to keep themselves warm and, according to the tender, the IPS is also seeking 12,952 vests and 94,484 pairs of socks for male inmates.

Prison bosses believe that tracksuit and leisure wear will be in high demand by prisoners, who are on a permanent 'lockdown' during their time behind bars.

To that end, the IPS tender specifies the requirement for 20,000 tracksuit bottoms and 20,132 track suit tops.

The clothes order also includes a requirement for 4,776 white runnning shoes and 4,776 black running shoes, 20,000 green polo shirts and 2,076 anoraks.

The tender also specifies the requirement for 2,280 white bras and 1,594 nightgowns for female inmates.

The supply of clothes for prisoners must also meet a list of specifications in terms of design and colour, and must be washable at certain temperatures.

It requires the successful firm to carry out the manufacture, storage, management, supply and delivery of clothing for prison inmates in all stock sizes to both male and female prisoners during the three-year period.


On the estimated €1.6m spend, the IPS says the "tenderers must understand that this figure is an estimate based on current and future expected usage".

The delivery locations for the clothing include Arbour Hill prison, the Dochás centre, Mountjoy, Cloverhill prison, Wheatfield, Shelton Abbey, Loughan House Open centre and prisons Castlerea, Limerick, Portlaoise and Cork.

Companies wishing to tender for the business have until January 15, 2021, to do so.