NI: NI Prison Service marks Christmas season with annual carol service

NI: NI Prison Service marks Christmas season with annual carol service

Northern Ireland’s Justice Minister David Ford celebrated the start of the Christmas season with members of the Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast yesterday.

Mr Ford joined the Lord Lieutenant of Belfast, Fionnuala O’Boyle, at the service organised by the NIPS Central Benevolent Fund, which provides support for widows and families of deceased officers and also gives help to injured and ill officers.

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was conducted by the Very Reverend John Mann, Dean of St Anne’s.

Music was provided by the Newtownards Silver Band with singing by Police Service of Northern Ireland Ladies Choir and soloists Yvette Anderson and Irene Louden.

Mr Ford said: “It has been my pleasure to join with the Prison Service family in celebrating the beginning of the Christmas season in these wonderful surroundings of St Anne’s Cathedral.

“It was inspiring to meet so many members of the Prison Service family, including widows and retired officers, and to see staff playing an important role in today’s festivities. I would like to thank the Central Benevolent Fund not only for organising this event but also for the valuable work they have done throughout the year.

“I would also like to commend soloists Yvette Anderson and Irene Louden, the PSNI Ladies Choir, and Newtownards Silver Band for their wonderful contribution today. The music has been truly outstanding.

“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish the staff of the Prison Service and their families a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.”

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