HM Prison Magilligan

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Coordinates: 55°10′30″N 6°56′53″W / 55.175°N 6.948°W / 55.175; -6.948

HMP Magilligan
Magilligan Prison.jpg
Location Limavady, Northern Ireland
Status Operational
Security class Low-Medium Security
Capacity 568
Opened 1972
Managed by Northern Ireland Prison Service
Governor Alan Longwell

Magilligan Prison is a prison run by the Northern Ireland Prison Service situated near Limavady, County Londonderry. It was first opened in May 1972 and comprised eight Nissen huts on the site of an army camp. The prison was divided into compounds to house the various paramilitary factions and was manned by British Army dog handlers and prison staff on detached duty from Scotland, England and Wales as well as some staff from Northern Ireland.

The temporary accommodation was later replaced by three H-blocks similar to those at the Maze prison each containing 100 cells.

In 1976 the prison wall was built and the prison began to house other prisoners who had been convicted of non-terrorist offences as well some young prisoners including Borstal trainees.

In 1977 the trainees were transferred to Woburn House in Millisle and prisoners convicted of scheduled terrorist offences transferred to the Maze. This left Magilligan operating as a 'normal' prison in the context of Northern Ireland prisons. The regime was consequently developed to reflect this.

The prison currently has a Certified Normal Accommodation capacity of 568 prisoners. It is a medium to low security prison that holds male prisoners who have six years or less to serve and who meet the relevant security classification.

In April 2012, it was announced that the prison would possibly close and be replaced by a new prison closer to Belfast in six years time.[1]


  1. ^ Kearney, Vincent (23 April 2012). "Magilligan Prison to close in six years time". BBC News Online. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 

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