20 October, 2011


20 October 2011

Justice Champions work tirelessly for their communities - Ford

A tireless campaigner for victims of domestic violence has been crowned one of Northern Ireland’s Justice Champions.

Justice Minister David Ford presented Rosemary Magill with her award when he hosted the Justice in the Community Awards ceremony at Parliament Buildings last night.

Also named Justice Champions were the Foyle Interface Monitoring Forum, which has developed initiatives to reduce sectarian tensions at interfaces areas in Derry and Joe Turner of the Street Pastor Scheme in Belfast which works to combat anti-social behaviour.

David Ford said: “The Justice in the Community Awards bring together people from across Northern Ireland, from different backgrounds and different walks of life, who share the same goal - making their local communities safer.

“All of them work tirelessly, often away from the glare of publicity, to help others and we should never take their investment in making a difference for granted.

“We owe all the champions and everyone who gives up their time to make our communities safer a huge debt of gratitude.”

The awards attracted 58 nominees and as well as the three Justice Champions, five highly commended awards were also presented.

Notes to editors:

 1. Justice Minister David Ford launched the first ‘Justice in the Community’ Awards on 6 June 2011. Some 58 nominations were received and were considered by an independent judging panel consisting of Baroness May Blood, Wendy Osborne, Volunteer Now and Dr Michael Maguire, Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice.

2. The three ‘Justice Champions’ are:

· Rosemary Magill, Women’s Aid.
· Foyle Interface Forum.
· Joe Turner, Belfast Street Pastor Initiative.

They each received a commemorative crystal and an award to the value of £500 for equipment or services to benefit their local community.

3. ‘Highly commended’ nominations
· Tom Magill, Educational Shakespeare Company.
· Jane Young & Jim McCarthy, Community Restorative Justice Ireland.
· NIACRO and Women’s Support Network.
· Donagh Survivors.
· Leigh Ferris, Hurt Locker Amateur Boxing Club.

4. Rosemary Magill has made an important contribution to enhancing the services for victims of domestic abuse. She helped develop the Multi-Agency Risk
Assessment Conference’s pilot in Northern Ireland and also played a pivotal role in the launch of the White Ribbon Charter for which she engendered the
commitment from every MLA to sign the pledge ‘never to commit, condone or stay silent about violence against women’.