NI: Seven lawyers in ‘jailbreak’ to raise charity cash

NI: Seven lawyers in 'jailbreak' to raise charity cash

Seven Northern Ireland lawyers raised over £7,000 for a charity working to stop false imprisonment in Kenya by going behind bars in Downpatrick County Museum Jail.

The International Justice Mission (IJM) fundraising initiative saw the lawyers locked up and challenged to raise a “bail” amount of £500 in order to secure their release.

The money raised went to IJM’s work in Kenya, where the charity provides legal representation to those falsely accused of crimes.

By partnering with government agencies, IJM train police and prosecutors on how to investigate cases and properly charge criminals. This work is dangerous; just last year one of IJM’s lawyers, a client and their taxi driver were abducted and murdered as they pursued justice.

The participating lawyers were Hilary Griffith from Cleaver Fulton Rankin; Andrew Kirke from Tughans; Maria Glovera and Maria McCloskey from Napiers; Avril McCammon from John McKee and Son; and Emma Mallon, barrister-at-law.

They were joined in the jail by Ruth Cooke, a trained solicitor and regional development executive for IJM based in Belfast.

Ms Cooke told Irish Legal News today: “We’re so grateful to all the individuals who took part in our 2017 Jail Break – and to their firms for supporting them. Those involved brought a sense of fun, and determination to raise as much money as possible.

“Through their networks of friends, family and colleagues, we are delighted to have raised over £7,000 for our work in Kenya supporting child victims of sexual assault, and defending those false imprisoned.

“For those interested in learning more about our work, we’d love to meet you and educate your firm on our global work, and how you can get involved. From supporting our #NotOnMyScreen campaign to choosing us as your charity partner for the year, we’d love to work with you!”

Legal professionals interested in contributing to IJM’s work can contact Ms Cooke on

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