Guarded welcome to Magilligan retention comments

A general view of Magilligan Prison, Co Londonderry, Northern Ireland
A general view of Magilligan Prison, Co Londonderry, Northern Ireland

MAGILLIGAN Prison looks likely to be retained, following comments made by Justice Minister David Ford that a “convincing case might be made” for the local Prison’s retention.

The Roe Valley Chamber of Commerce had estimated the cost to the local economy of the Prison’s closure to be around £10 million per annum.

East Londonderry MLA George Robinson has given a guarded welcome to the Justice Ministers comments regarding HMP Magilligan.

The local DUP man said: “The Ministers acknowledgement that a ‘convincing case might be made’ for the Prisons retention, this is not a promise that this will happen.

“It is essential that everyone must keep pushing home the point that the loss of the prison would be devastating to the economy of the North West in general and Limavady and Coleraine in particular. Of course the Ministers statement is to be welcomed but there are no new buildings or guarantees yet.”

He added: “The DUP East Londonderry MP and MLA’s, along with their council colleagues, consider the prison to be a foundation block of the economy and have fought hard to this point to make retention and rebuilding of the Prison a reality. While seeing the Minister’s statement as a step in the right direction we are all aware that the battle is not yet won and will continue to press the case for HMP Magilligan to be rebuilt”