Royal award for Maghaberry Prison Governor

Date published: 22 March 2019


A Senior Governor at Maghaberry Prison has been presented with the highest award in the UK for prison staff, by HRH The Princess Royal.

The Butler Trust’s Princess Royal’s Prize for Outstanding Achievement went to David Savage, for the outstanding levels of passion, dedication and courage he has brought to his work at Maghaberry on behalf of both the Northern Ireland Prison Service and the wider community.

He was presented with the award at the Butler Trust’s 34th Annual Awards Ceremony, hosted by The Princess Royal at St. James’s Palace in London. The Princess presented awards and commendations to a total of 30 staff members and volunteers from prison and community justice settings throughout the UK.

Congratulating David Savage on his award, Director General of the Northern Ireland Prison Service, Ronnie Armour said his impact on Maghaberry Prison has been genuinely transformational.

David’s leadership in forging a series of improvements have helped deliver a dramatic transformation at Maghaberry in recent years. His work exemplifies all of what we strive to achieve through rehabilitation, reducing re-offending and making our community a safer place to live.

He has brought great honour to the Northern Ireland Prison Service and is thoroughly deserving of this award.

In his role as a Senior Governor at Maghaberry, David Savage developed a team which shared his passion and drive to improve opportunities and outcomes for those in his care and to support both staff and prisoners in times of difficulty and crisis. He has also driven forward a number of major initiatives including programs tackling abuse of prescribed medication and poor male health, more purposeful activities as well as developing a review group to support the health and well-being of individuals held in isolation.

Notes to editors: 

  1. HRH The Princess Royal has been Patron of the Butler Trust since it was founded in 1985, hosting the Trust’s Annual Award Ceremony and visiting many of their award winners and commendees in their places of work afterwards. Named in memory of former Home Secretary, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary, R. A. (Rab) Butler, Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, the Butler Trust Awards are the most prestigious awards of their kind, and recognise and celebrate outstanding practice by people working in criminal justice settings. The awards are judged by an independent panel made up of Butler Trust trustees, and current and former prison and probation staff.
  2. 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.
  3. At 22nd March 2019, there were 828 prisoners at Maghaberry Prison.
  4. For all media enquiries, please contact the DOJ Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned.

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