Security alert ends at Magilligan Prison

A security alert at Magilligan Prison, which caused some disruption for local businesses, has ended.

The Point Road was closed from early Friday following a report of a suspicious object. However, just before 2pm on Friday, police said ATO examined a suspicious object and declared it to be nothing untoward.

Inspector Ian Armour said: “The report was made by prison authorities at Magilligan earlier. There is no traffic access along the Point Road at present and no access to the Magilligan point ferry terminal.”

The alert caused some disruption for local businesses.

Owen McLaughlin, who owns The Point Bar, was worried his lunchtime trade, at least, would suffer.

Managing Director of the Lough Foyle Ferry Company, Jim McClenaghan said the alert caused big disruption for his business, but was relieved when the alert ended just before 2pm.

The Point Road at Magilligan closed today (Friday) for an ongoing security alert. INLV1915-169KDR

The Point Road at Magilligan closed today (Friday) for an ongoing security alert. INLV1915-169KDR

“Very big disruption, especially on a Friday and a bank holiday weekend. We had to turn away all our regular customers and some of them had appointments. It has happened before, but not in recent years. We thought them days had past us.”

Magilligan Prison chaplain, Fr. Frank O’Hagan, was unable to get into work on Friday.

“In the 18 years I’ve been at the prison I’ve never seen a security alert outside the prison before,” said Fr O’Hagan. “I’m quite surprised. I didn’t know what it was about when I got here, so I went back home and worked from there.”

SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan said the alert was “helpful to no one”.

“This is a tourist area and the fact that the Magilligan-Greencastle Ferry had to be cancelled creates an awful image of an area where there is an urgency to promote the peace and serenity of the place,” said Colr. Mullan. “It is also unfair to many of the inmates who are vulnerable and depend on visits from relations and friends who, more than likely, travelled long distances only to be told the visits are off.”