Maghaberry prisoners produce braille books for Somme Museum

A book in braille produced by prisoners in Maghaberry Prison chronicling the history of the Ulster Division has been presented to the Somme Museum in Newtownards.

A group of prisoners spent the past year typing the book, The History of the Ulster Division, in the prison’s braille unit.

The eight volumes (including appendices, index and maps) in braille and large text will be used by visually impaired visitors to the museum.

Ronnie Armour, head of the NI Prison Service, said: “This is an excellent example of how we are supporting people to change and make a real difference to their lives through rehabilitative activities.

“I hope these books will complement the work of the Somme Museum and will prove invaluable to visually impaired people.

“The braille unit at Maghaberry Prison works exceptionally hard to produce various books and bibles and I am delighted to present their latest work to the Somme Museum.”

Mark Mooney, braille instructor at Maghaberry, added: “We are always looking for new ways to motivate offenders and the prisoners involved in this project have put in a lot of hard work.

“It’s been challenging for them but they have shown incredible commitment to see it through to the end.”

Carol Walker, director of the Somme Association, said: “This is the first ever book in braille at the Somme Museum and we are indebted to the Northern Ireland Prison Service and in particular the braille unit at Maghaberry. I have no doubt the book will be appreciated by the many visually impaired groups who visit the Somme Museum.”