Belfast Telegraph

Eames praises prison's braille books

22 January 2005

The Church of Ireland has praised prisoners at Maghaberry Prison for their work producing Braille versions of the Church's Book of Common Prayer and Church Hymnal.

The two publications are among a series of titles designed and produced by the prison's Braille Unit, run by David Johnston.

Speaking during a recent visit to Maghaberry Prison, Archbishop Robin Eames, Church of Ireland Primate of All Ireland, said: "The prisoners working in the Braille Unit have developed unique skills in producing liturgical publications and educational material as well as other publications.

"The Braille editions of the Book of Common Prayer and the Church Hymnal are invaluable resources for our Braille users both in their worship and in helping them to engage in parish life.

"I wish to thank the prisoners and prison authorities for this wonderful gift to the Church."

Archbishop Eames also praised David Johnston: "David's devotion and expertise in managing the production of liturgical books has been outstanding."

Archbishop Eames added: "The importance of a resource such as the Braille Unit reaches far beyond the walls of Maghaberry Prison.

"It enriches the whole of society and I commend the prison authorities for providing prisoners with this opportunity to engage in such worthwhile work."

Maghaberry Prison Governor, Pat Maguire, said: "I am very pleased that this project and the others that the Braille Unit undertakes provide prisoners with an opportunity to do a valuable service for the local community.

"Prisoners at Maghaberry have transcribed not only text but music, graphs and drawings for blind and visually impaired readers.

"Prisoners can use the skills they learn in the Unit to help with their eventual resettlement into the community."

The Archbishop presented a cheque for £2,500 to HM Prison Maghaberry in recognition of their work on liturgical publications.

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