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The Maze - Largest prison break in British penal hisory


st333ve

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Jul 18, 2006
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7627280.stm

Should be interesting and could have political impacts considering one of the prison breakers is after policing and justice powers.
Monday night BBC.

A Maze prison officer at the time of the 1983 IRA mass jailbreak tells his side of the story for the first time in a new BBC Northern Ireland documentary.

Thirty-eight prisoners broke out in the biggest prison escape in British penal history.

Half of them were recaptured within two days, but 19 made it to the Republic of Ireland and four eventually got as far as the United States. One prisoner has never been seen or heard of again.


The programme reveals how inmates' strategy to get close to prison staff included conforming to demands, making cups of tea and helping out with crosswords.

The intention was to create the conditions which allowed the inmates to capture the prison food lorry in preparation for driving out the front gate.

The programme also describes how one group of prisoners lived under floorboards in a 'safe house' for two weeks before escaping across the border.
Producer Michael Beattie said the escape remains a controversial subject even after 25 years.

"It's difficult to make a documentary that everyone will be happy with," he said.

"At one level, it's a ripping yarn to stand alongside other escape stories.

"But it also left James Ferris dead, John Adams shot in the face, and Campbell Courtney shot in the leg. Many other officers were stabbed as well."
 

Catalpa

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st333ve said:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7627280.stm

Should be interesting and could have political impacts considering one of the prison breakers is after policing and justice powers.
Monday night BBC.

A Maze prison officer at the time of the 1983 IRA mass jailbreak tells his side of the story for the first time in a new BBC Northern Ireland documentary.

Thirty-eight prisoners broke out in the biggest prison escape in British penal history.

Half of them were recaptured within two days, but 19 made it to the Republic of Ireland and four eventually got as far as the United States. One prisoner has never been seen or heard of again.


The programme reveals how inmates' strategy to get close to prison staff included conforming to demands, making cups of tea and helping out with crosswords.

The intention was to create the conditions which allowed the inmates to capture the prison food lorry in preparation for driving out the front gate.

The programme also describes how one group of prisoners lived under floorboards in a 'safe house' for two weeks before escaping across the border.
Producer Michael Beattie said the escape remains a controversial subject even after 25 years.

"It's difficult to make a documentary that everyone will be happy with," he said.

"At one level, it's a ripping yarn to stand alongside other escape stories.

"But it also left James Ferris dead, John Adams shot in the face, and Campbell Courtney shot in the leg. Many other officers were stabbed as well."
It certainly was a major boost to Republican Morale at the time and won a lot of admiration at the time from different quarters even if they couldn't express it openly. :cool:
 
Joined
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What did it gain them ?? Nothing 30yrs and they haven't gained an inch :?
 

Sarek

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"But it also left James Ferris dead, John Adams shot in the face, and Campbell Courtney shot in the leg. Many other officers were stabbed as well."
And?

That hardly compares to the suffering endured by Republican POWs and political prisoners.
 

Aindriu

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Sarek said:
"But it also left James Ferris dead, John Adams shot in the face, and Campbell Courtney shot in the leg. Many other officers were stabbed as well."
And?

That hardly compares to the suffering endured by Republican POWs and political prisoners.
Good to see that you dismiss the murder of someone doing their job so lightly :roll:
 

zenarchist

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May 28, 2008
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Aindriu said:
Sarek said:
"But it also left James Ferris dead, John Adams shot in the face, and Campbell Courtney shot in the leg. Many other officers were stabbed as well."
And?

That hardly compares to the suffering endured by Republican POWs and political prisoners.
Good to see that you dismiss the murder of someone doing their job so lightly :roll:
Would you feel the same way about the murder of Reihardt Heifrich on his way to work by British-directed Czech resistance fighters? No doubt they would bare the blame for the tit-for-tat retaliation meeted out by Heidrich's colleagues against Czech civilians.
The prison officers were given the opportunity to surrender, the IRA escapees wanted to get out with the minimum of hassle in the minimum time and conflict with prison officers was obviously not part of the plan. Injuries sustained by prison staff were a result of their own belligerant hatred.
 

Aindriu

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múscailte said:
Aindriu said:
Sarek said:
"But it also left James Ferris dead, John Adams shot in the face, and Campbell Courtney shot in the leg. Many other officers were stabbed as well."
And?

That hardly compares to the suffering endured by Republican POWs and political prisoners.
Good to see that you dismiss the murder of someone doing their job so lightly :roll:
Would you feel the same way about the murder of Reihardt Heifrich on his way to work by British-directed Czech resistance fighters? No doubt they would bare the blame for the tit-for-tat retaliation meeted out by Heidrich's colleagues against Czech civilians.
The prison officers were given the opportunity to surrender, the IRA escapees wanted to get out with the minimum of hassle in the minimum time and conflict with prison officers was obviously not part of the plan. Injuries sustained by prison staff were a result of their own belligerant hatred.
They were doing their job! It was their job to keep the prison secure and prisoners detained just the same as they do in any other prison. There is also a huge difference between Heidrich and the PO that was murdered FFS!
 

inchicore_republican

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May 22, 2007
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Aindriu wrote
They were doing their job! It was their job to keep the prison secure and prisoners detained just the same as they do in any other prison. There is also a huge difference between Heidrich and the PO that was murdered FFS!
The SS said the same in Autwitz .Political prisoners have a right to escape and they clearly told the prison officers what their intentions were and what would happen if they they tried to stop them.The prison officers decided to try and stop them which resulted in one of them being killed.
 

PatMcL

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May 17, 2007
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It was a cracking, first class operation that has to be admired. The audacity and bravery of the prisoners did earn them a lot of respect and the three spokespersons (escapees) gave a good account of themselves.

Amazing to think that these men are dismissed as sell outs and traitors by the keyboard warriors who infest this site. You know, the type who can't build a bonfire in Ballymena without getting themselves arrested.
 

Sarek

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PatMcL said:
It was a cracking, first class operation that has to be admired. The audacity and bravery of the prisoners did earn them a lot of respect and the three spokespersons (escapees) gave a good account of themselves.

Amazing to think that these men are dismissed as sell outs and traitors by the keyboard warriors who infest this site. You know, the type who can't build a bonfire in Ballymena without getting themselves arrested.
What's even more amazing is that they would endure all of that only to capitulate to the British capitalistic-imperialist agenda just a decade down the line. The "we've got more veterans than you" argument is pathetic.
 

constitutionus

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Feb 19, 2007
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i ended up watching this last night too.

missed a bit at the beginning but it was engrossing stuff. LOVED the very simple tactic they had to alert the other prisioners to make their move. literally just one bloke walking into the view of two others who , when they made their move, would set off the other people who could see them. like a domino effect.

very elegant.

gas to think kelly is now in charge of policing in the north.

must say though i cant help thinking about the ONE guy that no on ever heard from again. where the hell is he!

had this mad thought he's like that japaneese lad they found on an island 14yrs after WW2 who didnt know the war was over . maybe he's going a bear grylls in the hills of armagh :mrgreen:

still cracking program.
 

Tiernanator

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PatMcL said:
It was a cracking, first class operation that has to be admired. The audacity and bravery of the prisoners did earn them a lot of respect and the three spokespersons (escapees) gave a good account of themselves.

Amazing to think that these men are dismissed as sell outs and traitors by the keyboard warriors who infest this site. You know, the type who can't build a bonfire in Ballymena without getting themselves arrested.
Pat while I respect much of what you say, I can't help but think that if you and I had been around at the signing of the Treaty you and I would have been on opposite sides and I am in the same party as you. Your demonisation of other republicans is unacceptable and will only lead to their marginalisation. You might reflect on the little poem below. These people need to be convinced that Sinn Féin's strategy is correct. Only very recently they were our comrades. Please do not forget this. Ballyseedy and the killing of Michael Collins stemmed from attitudes such as this.

They made a circle to keep me out
heretic, traitor a thing to flout
but love and I had the wit to win
I made a circle and
brought them in.
 

Sarek

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Tiernanator said:
These people need to be convinced that Sinn Féin's strategy is correct.
There are two aims in this struggle: national and social justice.

Whatever about what you may want to claim regarding SF's "unification policy" it is impossible to escape the reality that SF are firmly committed to the capitalist order. Therein lays the fundamental contradiction and the explanation for SF's current direction. The IRA ceasefires and the GFA/SAA were not some mystical betrayal of a mystical creed but rather the inevitable result of following a bourgeois-nationalist agenda. Republicanism without socialism is incapable of delivering the goods; likewise socialism without Republicanism is equally inept.

The traditional Party/Army structure is a dead end. Every manifestation of "Óglaigh na hEireann" and "Sinn Féin" has failed their respective generations of Republican activists and supporters. What is needed is a mass-movement of progressive forces to fight for economic democracy and national sovereignty. This should include political parties, trade unions, all manner of pressure groups and unaligned individuals. People also have the right to bear arms against injustice whenever appropriate. I think it's clear enough that in the current climate armed actions are not politically expedient.

Reflect upon the direction of your party and consider where exactly it is headed.
 

MartinP

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Jun 6, 2004
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91
Sarek said:
PatMcL said:
It was a cracking, first class operation that has to be admired. The audacity and bravery of the prisoners did earn them a lot of respect and the three spokespersons (escapees) gave a good account of themselves.

Amazing to think that these men are dismissed as sell outs and traitors by the keyboard warriors who infest this site. You know, the type who can't build a bonfire in Ballymena without getting themselves arrested.
What's even more amazing is that they would endure all of that only to capitulate to the British capitalistic-imperialist agenda just a decade down the line. The "we've got more veterans than you" argument is pathetic.
What's equally pathetic is his reference to keyboard warriors. Have you looked at the number of posts you've made Pat?

Your claims to be Republicans on the back of previous actions by some of your members have as much weight as Fianna Fáil claiming the same about themselves in the '30s on the back of actions from the likes of de Valera, etc. Or would Gerry Kelly, participant in Britain's assembly in the occupied territory and employee of the British crown, be more of a Republican than de Valera? :roll:
 

inchicore_republican

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May 22, 2007
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It was a great escape but its a pity the same people in that documentary have regular meetings with the PSNI and Gardai to tell them who has left their movement.
 
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PatMcL said:
It was a cracking, first class operation that has to be admired. The audacity and bravery of the prisoners did earn them a lot of respect and the three spokespersons (escapees) gave a good account of themselves.

Amazing to think that these men are dismissed as sell outs and traitors by the keyboard warriors who infest this site. You know, the type who can't build a bonfire in Ballymena without getting themselves arrested.

Pity 1 Para wernt guarding the maze, it might have been 38-0 to the good guys.
 

Bogwarrior

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Nov 3, 2004
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PatMcL said:
It was a cracking, first class operation that has to be admired. The audacity and bravery of the prisoners did earn them a lot of respect and the three spokespersons (escapees) gave a good account of themselves.

Amazing to think that these men are dismissed as sell outs and traitors by the keyboard warriors who infest this site. You know, the type who can't build a bonfire in Ballymena without getting themselves arrested.
Bit obsessive are'nt you. Incidentally, most of us were supporters of the Provisional Movement at this time. Ruari O Bradaigh was leader of your party at the time. Don't see the point you're trying to make at all. Your like those Fianna Fail people living off the past and holding up the Old IRA as their private property.
 

Tiernanator

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ReformedRepublican said:
PatMcL said:
It was a cracking, first class operation that has to be admired. The audacity and bravery of the prisoners did earn them a lot of respect and the three spokespersons (escapees) gave a good account of themselves.

Amazing to think that these men are dismissed as sell outs and traitors by the keyboard warriors who infest this site. You know, the type who can't build a bonfire in Ballymena without getting themselves arrested.

Pity 1 Para wernt guarding the maze, it might have been 38-0 to the good guys.
FOUSC...think about it.
 
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