Page last updated at 22:54 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Prison visits resume after search

Maghaberry Prison
Maghaberry holds Northern Ireland's most serious criminals

Prison visits have resumed at a high security jail in County Antrim on Saturday following a major search.

All domestic and legal visitors had been denied access to Maghaberry prison since Thursday morning, when the search operation began.

It has been more than 10 years since the last major search at the jail.

The prison service has said that all visits affected by the suspension on Thursday and Friday would now be re-scheduled.

It added that anyone scheduled to visit on Saturday or Sunday should attend as normal.

When the search began on Thursday, the prison service said the operation was "in the interests of the safety of staff and prisoners".

It is understood that no major items of contraband have been discovered so far.

Semtex

Last month, traces of a component used in Semtex explosives were found in the cells of republican prisoners during searches.

The traces were detected in swab tests taken during routine searches of two cells at Roe House.

At that time, a Prison Service spokesman said no Semtex was found during the operation.

Maghaberry is Northern Ireland's high security prison with republican and loyalist paramilitaries among its inmates.



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