Prison campaigner is "honoured" with MBE


A LIMAVADY man, who has been recognised in the New Year Honours List has expressed his delight at his outstanding acheivement to the Northern Constitution.

Finlay Spratt, formerly from Eglinton, and who was Governor at Magilligan Prison, spoke of his ‘surprise’ at being awarded an MBE for his public service and charity.

“It is nice to know that people obviously appreciate the work that I have done over the last 42 years,” said Mr Spratt who is also a former chairman of the Prison Officers' Association for three of the most violent decades of the Troubles.

Mr Spratt joined the Prison Service in 1976 and only left active service in April 2018, when he stepped down after being in charge of Magilligan Prison.

Seven years ago, Mr Spratt launched a campaign which succesfully prevented the closure of Magilligan prison, Northern Ireland's second largest jail.

During this time, Mr Spratt had stressed the prisons importance for inmates and staff in the north west.

Reflecting on his time with the Prison Officer’s Association, Mr Spratt told the Northern Constitution: “I have many happy memories and I enjoyed my time with them,” said Finlay.
He continued: “The staff do a wonderful job but I think people don’t really appreciate the work of the prison officers or realise how important their role is in protecting the public.
”However, I cant complain about my time there and yes it was bad through the troubles as 32 of my colleagues were murdered but even through all that, there was still many happy times.”

Speaking about his award, Mr Spratt concluded: “I want to thank all of those people who took the time to put me forward for nomination.
”It is an honour to be recognised for an MBE and I am very grateful for it.”

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