Archive for January, 2008

MP Praises ‘Unflagging Dedication’ of Juvenile Justice Staff

Speaking following Sunday night’s incident at the Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre, Lady Hermon said:

“The incident at Woodlands on Sunday evening was deeply worrying, and I send my very best wishes to the three members of staff who were injured by the young man in the Juvenile Justice Centre.  It’s important to remember that the Centre has no ability whatsoever to pick and choose the young people who are sent to it.  That’s down to the courts, but it is nevertheless a very secure unit. 

Having spoken at length to the Justice Minister Paul Goggins within the Northern Ireland Office and after an hour-long visit on Tuesday to Woodlands itself, it is my clear understanding that the incident was not caused by staff shortages.  On the contrary, such are the complex needs of this particular young offender that he was being intently supervised by three staff members.  He did, however, manage to injure all three in quick succession.

After talking to a number of the staff during my visit, I must say I have the greatest admiration for their sense of unflagging dedication to what can only be described as extremely difficult and challenging work.  They are undoubtedly a remarkable group of people and I have sought assurances from the Minister that every effort will be made to provide them with additional support and any further available training, which they feel would assist them.”

January 30th, 2008

Local MP Marks Holocaust Memorial Day

North Down MP, Lady Hermon, showed her commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day by signing a Book of Commitment to honour those killed in the Holocaust and individuals that risked their lives to help those being persecuted.  This is the eighth year that the anniversary has been officially commemorated in the UK.

The Book had been placed in the House of Commons for Members of Parliament nationwide to sign and pledge their support for the annual day of remembrance last Sunday, 27th January.  January 27th marked the anniversary of the liberation in 1945 of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the infamous concentration and extermination camp.

Thousands of events were held across the UK to commemorate all those who suffered at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust and in more recent genocides.

Lady Hermon said:

“Holocaust Memorial Day provides a focus for us to learn lessons from the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis against millions of innocent people during the Second World War.

I was particularly pleased to see the recent feature in the County Down Spectator where my young constituent, Jonathan Marks, appeared with the author John Boyne when he came to Bangor Academy to talk about his book, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

This very poignant account of the Holocaust told through the eyes of a 9 year-old child is totally unforgettable.”

January 29th, 2008