East Derry MP Gregory Campbell was among those who addressed a rally at Magilligan Prison yesterday (Friday) as part of a campaign against the closure of the prison.
He said around 440 jobs in the north-west would go in the move, which he predicted would take £10m from the local economy.
“Four million pounds has already been spent on upgrading Magilligan Prison, with plans to spend more money before 2014,” he said. “The Justice Minister should look at a ‘Plan B’ and in so doing would be recognised as having helped the sustainability of the economy of the area.”
Magilligan prison is the second largest in the North with a capacity to house more than 450 prisoners. Opened in 1972, set to shut in 2018, after a review recommended a new medium security facility should be built close to Maghaberry.
Politicians and prison officers’ representatives joined at the prison to protest against the scheme.
A petition in the reception area of the Limavady Borough Council offices is expected to get thousands of signatures. Prison officers will present it to the Executive.