Prayers at Maze moved ‘due to hurt among Troubles victims’

A cell in H Block 4 of the Maze/Long Kesh prison site near Lisburn. Niall Carson/PA Wire
A cell in H Block 4 of the Maze/Long Kesh prison site near Lisburn. Niall Carson/PA Wire

A major prayer vigil has been moved from the Maze prison site to St Anne’s Cathedral to avoid upsetting terror victims.

The ‘Day of Prayer for our land’ event will still take place on September 17 between 9am and 6pm as originally planned, Brother David Jardine of Divine Healing Ministries said.

“The reason we have switched venues is that we came to realise, through conversations with victims’ groups and those who have suffered, how hurtful and upsetting it would be for them if we were to go to Balmoral Park, Maze Long Kesh.

“These people have suffered enough. We do not want to add to that suffering. So out of compassion for them we decided to move to St Anne’s Cathedral,” Brother Jardine added.

The Maze housed many of Northern Ireland’s most notorious loyalist and republican terrorists before it closed in July 2000 – with the remaining inmates freed under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Brother Jardine went on to say: “The format of the day will still be the same. We begin at 9am and finish at 6pm. Prayer will be in silence. It is an opportunity for all of us as individuals to have an encounter with God.

“If your peace has been disturbed for whatever reason, maybe from experiences in the past, why not come and spend some time with God in an atmosphere of godly calmness?

“The focal point will be a large plain wooden cross right at the front of the Cathedral. This is a time for people to come as individuals before God, and through that encounter, however long or short, to find His peace.”