© 2020

The Carceral Network in Ireland

History, Agency and Resistance

  • Fiona McCann
  • Examines various forms of incarceration in Ireland from a unique, holistic perspective

  • Draws on mixed methods like semi-structured interviews, archival work, documentary analysis, and photographic analysis

  • Touches on timely topics like Direct Provision — a system of asylum seeker accommodation


Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)

About this book


This book examines the forms and practices of Irish confinement from the 19th century to present-day to explore the social and political failings of 20th and 21st century postcolonial Ireland. Building on an interdisciplinary conference held in the Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast, the methodological approaches adopted across this book range from the historical and archival to the sociological, political, and literary. This edited collection touches on topics such as industrial schools, Magdalen laundries, struggles and resistance in prisons both North and South, Direct Provision, and the ways in which prison experiences have been represented in literature, cinema, and the arts. It sketches out an uncomfortable picture of the techniques for policing bodies deployed in Ireland for over a century. This innovative study seeks to establish a link between Ireland’s inhumane treatment of women and children, of prisoners, and of asylum seekers today, and to expose and pinpoint modes of resistance to these situations. 


political prisoners irish prisons history of ireland prison reform prison policy prison architecture conflict in ireland incarceration protest human rights prison development prison photography memory gender and power industrial schools peace confinement prison narratives Irish literature

Editors and affiliations

  • Fiona McCann
    • 1
  1. 1.CECILLEUniversity of Lille/Institut Universitaire de FranceLilleFrance

About the editors

Fiona McCann is Professor of Postcolonial Literature at the Université de Lille, France. She has published widely on contemporary Irish, South African, and Zimbabwean literature and she has a particular interest in writing by political prisoners in the English-speaking postcolonial world.

Bibliographic information