A new church facility at Magilligan Prison has been officially opened by the Justice Minister Naomi Long.
The opening of the new House of Worship had been delayed by the pandemic and was also attended by several church leaders in Northern Ireland.
This included Presbyterian Moderator Rev Dr David Bruce, Methodist Church President Rev Dr Sahr Yambasu, Vicar General of the Derry Diocese Fr Michael Canny as well as Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry and Raphoe Andrew Forster.
After unveiling a plaque, Ms Long said: “Prisons Week is a very important time for everyone associated with Prisons in Northern Ireland. While the official opening of this House of Worship had to be put on hold due to the pandemic, it feels apt that it is taking place during Prisons Week.”
She said the work of prison chaplains at Magilligan were “an essential part of the community” and was carried out “without fanfare”.
Northern Ireland Prison Service Director General Ronnie Armour said: “The opening of this new church facility is significant as it provides a vocal point for chaplaincy and their important work and it sends out a clear signal of our commitment to having a prison here in the North West.
“I want to thank everyone for being with us today for this important event, particularly the leaders and representatives of our four main churches. I have no doubt this building will become an important part of the fabric here at Magilligan.”
Magilligan Prison is a medium to low security prison which holds males prisoners with six years or less who meet the relevant security classification.