Justice Minister Naomi Long has paid tribute to prison staff across Northern Ireland during a visit to Maghaberry Prison as part of Hidden Heroes Day 2021.
Hidden Heroes Day was established by the Butler Trust to pay tribute to the people working in prisons, youth justice and probation across the UK.
During her visit to Maghaberry Prison, the Minister met with staff from across the facility who have worked throughout the pandemic to support the people in care of the prison service. At a special breakfast event she was also joined by the Director General Ronnie Armour, Director of Prisons, David Kennedy and Governor of Maghaberry, David Savage.
Speaking after her visit Minister Long said: “During the pandemic a huge amount of good work has been done by Prison Service staff which has largely gone unseen.
“Supporting and challenging prisoners on a daily basis through innovate initiatives, they have continually been inspiring and motivating prisoners throughout these difficult times.
“To our dedicated prison staff and the many prisoners who have found comfort and peace of mind in surprising places, I want to applaud you all, you have really been the hidden heroes of this pandemic.”
Later in the day Minister Long also visited the headquarters of Probation Board NI in Belfast where she again voiced appreciation of the efforts of staff.
The Minister said: “Delivering services at this time more than ever, probation staff have demonstrated a commitment to partnership, shared learning and continuing to build safer communities for all. I have been immensely impressed by the resilience, dedication and professionalism they have shown working with some of the most marginalised people in our society to change lives. Thank you to all the hidden heroes at this time.”
Notes to editors:
- Photo Caption: Justice Minister Naomi Long chats to prison staff during a visit to Maghaberry Prison as part of Hidden Heroes Day, which was established by the Butler Trust to pay tribute to the people working in prisons, youth justice and probation across the UK.
- Photo Caption: Justice Minister Naomi Long is pictured with probation staff during a visit to Probation Board for Northern Ireland headquarters in Belfast as part of Hidden Heroes Day, which was established by the Butler Trust to pay tribute to the people working in prisons, youth justice and probation across the UK.
- Maghaberry Prison is the only Category ‘A’ prison in Northern Ireland and also operates as a remand prison for all adult male prisoners in the country. It accommodates a range of sentenced prisoners such as life sentence, indeterminate and extended custody prisoners, separated prisoners, fine defaulters and civil prisoners.
- Hidden Heroes Day is a national UK wide event held each year to highlight the work in prisons, youth justice and probation. To find out more visit www.hiddenheroes.uk/hiddenheroesday
- Media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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- The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
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