Maghaberry prisoners tackle Ulster GAA coaching skills course

Date published: 02 August 2023


Maghaberry Prison has teamed up with Ulster GAA to coach skills for Gaelic football to prisoners as part of a sports rehabilitation initiative.

Prisoners coached in GAA

More than 20 prisoners have taken part in the coaching course over a six-week period with a focus on key skills of the game as well as encouraging healthy minds and bodies.

Maghaberry Prison Governor David Savage said: “The prison population in Maghaberry in recent months has continued to rise, virtually on a daily basis, and it is important that we support all of those men in our care.

“Sport plays a big part in rehabilitation. By encouraging people to live a healthier life-style through sport we are helping them to progress and gain new skills. This reduces the risk of re-offending when they return to their communities, and helps to build a safer place to live.

“The partnership with Ulster GAA has been established over several years and has been hugely successful. This is the second such GAA coaching course we have held at Maghaberry and it has engaged a considerable number of the men in our care.”

Ciaran McLaughlin, President, Ulster GAA, said: “Through sport, prisoners can learn a range of disciplines and Ulster GAA is delighted to be working in partnership with the Prison Service on this initiative.

“During the six-week course our coaches focused on the key skills and rules of Gaelic football, as well as encouraging a healthier life-style through sport. Inclusiveness is a core value of the GAA and I trust that the prisoners involved in the programme at Maghaberry will have many positives to take from the experience.”

Notes to editors: 

1.Maghaberry Prison is the largest of three prisons that make up the Northern Ireland Prison Service. Maghaberry is the only category ‘A’ high security prison and operates as the committal prison for all adult male prisoners including remand prisoners, sentenced prisoners including life-sentenced prisoners, indeterminate, extended custody and separated loyalist and republican prisoners as well as fine defaulters.

2. At 1 August Maghaberry Prison population was 1280.

3. Media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office via email.

4. 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 out of hours on 028 9037 8110.

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