SDLP East Derry MLA Gerry Mullan has called on Justice Minister Claire Sugden to make an early commitment to a new build Magilligan Prison to meet basic standards required by disability law and to foster rehabilitation.
Mr Mullan said that the new Justice Minister would be judged on her delivery.
He said: “First of all, I want to wish Claire Sugden well in her time ahead as Justice Minister. I, and my party, disagree fundamentally with the corruption of the power sharing institutions and the political patronage through which Claire was appointed but that political difference is not a personal division. Given the circumstances of the new Minister’s elevation, it’s even more important that she delivers for people across the North but particularly for East Derry.
“Critical here is the new build at Magilligan Prison. The previous Minister has already recognised that standards at the prison fall short of those required by disability access legislation and that the current infrastructure has outlived its useful life. It’s critical that we see a new build at the site to relieve pressure on staff and prisoners, offering them a genuine opportunity for rehabilitation in a modern prison environment.
“But critically for East Derry, a new build will help to stimulate the local construction industry which has struggled throughout the economic downturn. The delivery of capital projects was a key failure of the last Executive. As a public representative for this constituency, I will ensure that the new Government’s feet are held to the fire to deliver new projects and new jobs for people here.
“The Justice Minister must announce plans for the way forward on Magilligan as soon as possible.”