Extracts

A selection of extracts from PMA recordings at Armagh Gaol and Maze and Long Kesh. Hear from former prisoners, prison officers, journalists, teachers and more.

Military Structure: Peter Taylor

Maze and Long Kesh

Peter talks about how a military regime and structure operated in the cages.

1983 Escape: Jenny Meegan

Maze and Long Kesh

Jenny talks about the impact of the 1983 escape on her teaching.

Weddings: William Murphy

Maze and Long Kesh

William talks about weddings inside the prison chapel.

Prisoner Artwork: Brian Maguire

Maze and Long Kesh

Brian looks through artwork produced in art classes in the H-Blocks.

Arriving: Patricia Moore

Armagh Gaol

Patricia talks about her arrival to Armagh Gaol.

Visitors: Angela Nelson

Armagh Gaol

Angela describes her father’s reaction to visiting her at Armagh Gaol.

1981 Hunger Strike: Laurence McKeown

Maze and Long Kesh

Laurence describes the impact of his hunger strike on his eyesight and sense of smell.

Peace Process: William Plum Smith

Maze and Long Kesh

William highlights the significance of the Visiting Building and H-Blocks during the peace process.

Internment: William Plum Smith

Maze and Long Kesh

William talks about prison overcrowding at the start of internment.

Ideology: Alexander Gowrie

Maze and Long Kesh

Alexander comments on the ideological differences between Provisional IRA and Official IRA prisoners.

Education: Margaret Gray

Maze and Long Kesh

Margaret reflects on her experience as a teacher in the H-Blocks.

Later Life: Bobby Rogers

Maze and Long Kesh

Bobby talks about the effect of prison on your later life.

Communication: Michael Culbert

Maze and Long Kesh

Michael recounts how prisoners used to communicate across the H-Blocks.

Probation: Valerie Owens and Eleanor Mulligan

Maze and Long Kesh

Valerie talks about the experience of working as a probation officer in the Maze and Long Kesh Prison.

Joining Probation: Valerie Owens and Eleanor Mulligan

Maze and Long Kesh

Eleanor reflects on her reasons for joining the probation service.

Education: Maurice Kennedy

Maze and Long Kesh

Maurice reflects on the value placed on education – and educators – by the prisoners.

Prison work: John Knocker

Maze and Long Kesh

John talks about working in metal fabrications.

Mixed wing: Jackie Upton

Armagh Gaol

Jackie talks about the experience of being the only Protestant prisoner within an otherwise republican wing of Armagh Gaol.

Life in the Cages: Michael Smith

Maze and Long Kesh

Michael talks about life in the cages/ compounds of Long Kesh..

Noise: Peter Taylor

Maze and Long Kesh

Peter recounts the cacophony of noise in the wings of the H-Blocks.

Demolition: Dessie Rodgers

Maze and Long Kesh

Dessie describes some of the demolition taking place at the Maze and Long Kesh site in 2007.

Release: Anne Cadwallader

Maze and Long Kesh

Anne recounts the day that many prisoners were released from Maze and Long Kesh following the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Support: Ronnie White and Donna McCulloch

Maze and Long Kesh

Ronnie talks about the lack of support for prison officers following traumatic events.

1981 Hunger Strike: Brendan Hurson

Maze and Long Kesh

Brendan describes visiting his brother while he was on hunger strike.

Family visits: Kieran McEvoy

Maze and Long Kesh

Kieran talks about the pressure on prisoners’ wives and the stress of family visits.

Teaching: Joanna McMinn

Maze and Long Kesh

Joanna reflects on her experience of teaching in the H-Blocks.

Yard: Patricia Moore

Armagh Gaol

Patricia talks about walking around the yard of Armagh Gaol and hearing children playing on the other side of the yard wall.

H-Blocks: Seanna Walsh

Maze and Long Kesh

Séanna talks about the different periods of time in the H-Blocks.

Baby: Josie Dowds

Armagh Gaol

Josie talks about the experience of having a baby with her in Armagh Gaol.

Legal education: Kevin Winters

Maze and Long Kesh

Kevin visits the legal consultation booths and reflects on his experience of working as a solicitor in the prison.

Change in lock up: Christopher McWilliams and Martin McElkerney

Maze and Long Kesh

Martin and Chris discuss ‘lock up’ in the H-Blocks.

Handicrafts: David and William Stitt

Maze and Long Kesh

William points out a H-Block cell used for doing handicrafts.

The Cages: Seanna Walsh

Maze and Long Kesh

Séanna talks about daily life in the cages of Long Kesh, and the military structure utilised in the cages.

Life After Prison: Dee Stitt

Maze and Long Kesh

Dee talks about a loss of identity and sense of cohesion upon release from prison.

Pressure: Andy Killen

Maze and Long Kesh

Andy talks about the impact of the pressures faced by prison officers.

H-Blocks: Michael Smith

Maze and Long Kesh

Michael talks about conditions in the H-Blocks, when prisoners were ‘doubled up’ in the cells.

Classes: Joanna McMinn

Maze and Long Kesh

Joanna recounts teaching Women’s Studies to men in the H-Blocks.

Visits: Gerard Murray

Maze and Long Kesh

Gerard reflects on the differences between visits with family and with friends.

Legacy: Ronnie White and Donna McCulloch

Maze and Long Kesh

Ronnie and Donna talk about the legacy of their time as prison officers.

1980 Hunger Strike: Mary Nelis

Maze and Long Kesh

Mary talks about a mother’s experience of the 1980 hunger strike.

Mixed Classes: Maurice Kennedy

Maze and Long Kesh

Maurice talks about teaching mathematics to mixed groups of prisoners.

Architecture: Fr. Oliver Crilly

Maze and Long Kesh

Oliver comments on the link between the architecture of the H-Blocks and the wider conflict.

1983 Escape: Brendan McFarlane

Maze and Long Kesh

Brendan talks about the escape from H-Block 7 in 1983.

Yard: Seamus Holmes

Maze and Long Kesh

Seamus talks about the importance of the H-Block exercise yard.

Disillusionment: Eddie McGarrigle

Maze and Long Kesh

Eddie reflects back on his arrival at the H-Blocks and his disappointment at the lack of debate.

Education: Bobby Rogers

Maze and Long Kesh

Bobby talks about how education was encouraged and supported by the organisation outside the prison.

1981 Hunger Strike: Pat Sheehan

Maze and Long Kesh

Pat talks about the impact of the 1981 hunger strike.

H-Blocks: Kenneth Simpson

Maze and Long Kesh

Kenneth talks about the organisation of the H-Blocks.

Internment: Angela Nelson

Armagh Gaol

Angela describes her arrest and interrogation prior to being transferred to Armagh Gaol.

Loyalist Hunger Strikes: Bobby Rogers

Maze and Long Kesh

Bobby highlights the fact that Loyalists, including Gusty Spence, went on hunger strike.

Long Kesh: Peter Taylor

Maze and Long Kesh

Peter talks about the significance of the Long Kesh site during both the conflict and the development of the peace process.

Filming: Peter Taylor

Maze and Long Kesh

Peter comments on his experience of filming the documentary ‘Enemies Within’ in the H-Blocks.

Entering the Prison: Amanda Dunsmore

Maze and Long Kesh

Amanda talks about the process of entering the prison.

1981 Hunger Strike: Danny Morrison

Maze and Long Kesh

Danny describes visiting the prison hospital during the 1981 hunger strike.

Visits: Angela Nelson

Armagh Gaol

Description of the visits at Armagh Gaol.

Compounds: William Plum Smith

Maze and Long Kesh

William talks about the basic design of the compounds/cages at Long Kesh.

H-Block Cell: Dee and William Stitt

Maze and Long Kesh

Dee talks about how some of the prisoners would decorate and furnish their cells during the 1990s.

Control Room: John Hetherington

Maze and Long Kesh

John talks about the prison Control Room at the Maze and Long Kesh.

Prison Chapel: William Murphy

Maze and Long Kesh

William describes the prison chapel at Maze and Long Kesh.

Education: Diana Purcell

Maze and Long Kesh

Diana talks about the start of education provision in the compounds.

Visits: Laurence McKeown

Maze and Long Kesh

Laurence recounts the first time his father visited him in prison, whilst Laurence was in the prison hospital on hunger strike.

Chapel: Josie Dowds

Armagh Gaol

Josie talks about visiting the chapel of Armagh Gaol at the time of the no wash protest.

Prison Library: Daphne Scroggie

Armagh Gaol

Daphne talks about her experience working in the Library while a Prison Officer at Armagh Gaol.

Escape Cell: Evelyn Brady and Cate Mackie

Armagh Gaol

Evelyn and Cate visit a cell that was used during an escape attempt from Armagh Gaol.

1981 Hunger Strike: John Hetherington

Maze and Long Kesh

John visits the hospital and reflects on the 1981 hunger strike.

Irish classes: Jake MacSiacais

Maze and Long Kesh

Jake talks about ‘classes’ in the H-Blocks during the blanket protest.

Lock up: Seamus Holmes

Maze and Long Kesh

Seamus talks about the effect of ‘lock up’ on prisoners.

Compounds: Bobby Rodgers

Maze and Long Kesh

Bobby talks about how education, exercise and music were a big part of his life in the compounds.

Escapes: Kieran McEvoy

Maze and Long Kesh

Kieran talks about various escapes and escape attempts from prisons during the conflict.

Exercise Yard: Amanda Dunsmore

Maze and Long Kesh

Amanda visits a H-Block exercise yard and reflects on the changes there over the years.

Regime: Evelyn Brady And Cate Mackie

Armagh Gaol

Cate talks about the role of the OC and the regime adopted in a political wing of Armagh Gaol.

Riot: Larry Carragher Paddy Smith

Maze and Long Kesh

Paddy remembers the first riot in the cages/ compounds of Long Kesh, during which a canteen hut was set on fire.

Education: Harry Donaghy and Sean O’Hare

Maze and Long Kesh

Harry (left) and Sean (right) talk about education during internment and the library in their cage.

‘Cage 5’: John Knocker

Maze and Long Kesh

John visits the site of ‘cage 5’ and reflects back on daily life there.

Military structure: Angela Nelson

Armagh Gaol

Angela describes the military structure adopted by republican women in Armagh Gaol.

Colour: Jenny Meegan

Maze and Long Kesh

Jenny talks about the grey, sterile environment of the H-Blocks, and the lack of colour in the prisoners’ environment.

Release: Vincent Bent

Maze and Long Kesh

Vincent talks about the anxieties some women felt prior to the release of their partner from prison.

Last Visit: Bernadette O’Hagan and Siobhan Maginn

Maze and Long Kesh

Bernadette talks about her last visit to the Maze and Long Kesh.

Quaker Visitor Centre: Vincent Bent

Maze and Long Kesh

Vincent describes the lack of conflict between visitors to the Quaker Visitor Centre, located just outside the Maze and Long Kesh site.

After prison: Bobby Rodgers

Maze and Long Kesh

Bobby highlights the difficulty of reintegrating into a community after release from prison. He also comments on the impact of prison on prisoners’ families.

H-Block cell: Martin McMonagle

Maze and Long Kesh

Martin visits a H-Block cell and talks about how life in the H-Blocks changed over time.

Inspections: Evelyn Brady and Cate Mackie

Armagh Gaol

Cate describes inspections and drilling carried out by political prisoners in Armagh Gaol.

1981 Hunger Strike: Peter Taylor

Maze and Long Kesh

Peter comments on the impact of Bobby Sands’s death on the conflict.

Canteen: Pat Sheehan

Maze and Long Kesh

Pat recounts visiting the canteen during the blanket protest.

Internment: Peter Taylor

Maze and Long Kesh

Peter talks about how the compounds of Long Kesh were set up at the time of internment.

Future of site: Colin Halliday

Maze and Long Kesh

Colin talks about the future of the Maze and Long Kesh site.

Escape Attempt: Evelyn Brady and Cate Mackie

Armagh Gaol

Evelyn recounts an attempted escape from Armagh Gaol.

Civil Rights: Niall Vallely

Armagh Gaol

Niall talks about his experience during the civil rights movement.

Irish Class: Roisin White

Armagh Gaol

Roisin talks about her experience as an Irish teacher at Armagh Gaol.

Canteen: Raymond McCartney

Maze and Long Kesh

Raymond describes visiting the canteen during the blanket protest.

Prank: Angela Nelson

Armagh Gaol

Angela describes a prank played on new prisoners.

Education: Seanna Walsh

Maze and Long Kesh

Séanna talks about the value of educating himself in prison.

Internment: Andy Killen

Maze and Long Kesh

Andy highlights the impact of internment on his family life.

Handicrafts: Christopher McWilliams and Martin McElkerney

Maze and Long Kesh

Martin remembers prisoners making handicrafts in a H-Block wing.

‘Why are you here?’ William Mitchell

Maze and Long Kesh

William talks about first meeting Gusty Spence in a compound of Long Kesh.

Laundry: Jackie Upton

Armagh Gaol

Jackie visits the laundry and recalls working there.

Hunger Strikes: Raymond McCartney

Maze and Long Kesh

Raymond reflects on the hunger strikes of 1980 and 1981.

Peace Process: Seanna Walsh

Maze and Long Kesh

Séanna talks about an event that took place in the H-Blocks that was formative in his view of the peace process.