Northern Ireland

Prisoners undertake Gaelic football training as part of rehabilitation

Maghaberry Prison has teamed up with Ulster GAA to coach skills for Gaelic football to prisoners as part of a sports rehabilitation initiative. Maghaberry Governor David Savage (centre) is pictured with Ulster GAA coaches Roger Keenan and Tony Scullion. Picture: Michael Cooper.
Maghaberry Prison has teamed up with Ulster GAA to coach skills for Gaelic football to prisoners as part of a sports rehabilitation initiative. Maghaberry Governor David Savage (centre) is pictured with Ulster GAA coaches Roger Keenan and Tony Scullion. P Maghaberry Prison has teamed up with Ulster GAA to coach skills for Gaelic football to prisoners as part of a sports rehabilitation initiative. Maghaberry Governor David Savage (centre) is pictured with Ulster GAA coaches Roger Keenan and Tony Scullion. Picture: Michael Cooper.

Prisoners at Maghaberry Prison are learning Gaelic football skills through a new rehabilitation initiative organised with Ulster GAA.

The six-week coaching course is designed to engage prisoners in key techniques and rules of the game while promoting physical and mental wellbeing.

More than 20 participants have taken part in the program so far.

Governor David Savage said “Sport plays a big part in rehabilitation.

"By encouraging people to live a healthier life-style through sport, we are helping them to progress and gain new skills. This reduces the risk of re-offending when they return to their communities, and helps to build a safer place to live."

Prisoners at Maghaberry have taken part in a GAA coaching course hosted by Ulster GAA over a six-week period, focusing on key skills of the game as well as encouraging healthy minds and bodies. Picture: Michael Cooper.
Prisoners at Maghaberry have taken part in a GAA coaching course hosted by Ulster GAA over a six-week period, focusing on key skills of the game as well as encouraging healthy minds and bodies. Picture: Michael Cooper. Prisoners at Maghaberry have taken part in a GAA coaching course hosted by Ulster GAA over a six-week period, focusing on key skills of the game as well as encouraging healthy minds and bodies. Picture: Michael Cooper.

This is the second time that the prison has collaborated with Ulster GAA.

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Ciaran McLaughlin, President of Ulster GAA, said:  “Through sport, prisoners can learn a range of disciplines and Ulster GAA is delighted to be working in partnership with the Prison Service on this initiative."

The training comes as Maghaberry, Northern Ireland's only high-security prison, sees its population continue to rise.

The facility houses more than 1,280 inmates as of August 1, including remand, sentenced, and separated prisoners.