Advertisement

Stories from the Cells: The Role of the Maze and Long Kesh Prison in Peace Time Northern Ireland

  • Kate KeaneEmail author
Chapter
  • 2 Downloads
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)

Abstract

In 2007, a small filmmaking team visited what was left of the Maze and Long Kesh Prison. Demolition had already begun in earnest, with plans well advanced for the redevelopment of the site to include a large multi-functional sports stadium, while some republican groups called for the preservation of parts of the site. One H-Block had been kept in full working order up until 2003, in case the ceasefires did not hold. The filmmaking team invited people who had previously spent time there to revisit the site, and have their memories recorded, using the site and the buildings as a stimulus for memory. Stories were collected from a wide range of perspectives, including ex-prisoners from both republican and loyalist groups, prison staff, teachers, artists, family members, chaplains, lawyers, and doctors. These became part of what is now the Prisons Memory Archive, ‘a collection of 175 filmed walk-and-talk recordings with those who had a connection with Armagh Gaol and the Maze and Long Kesh Prison during the conflict in and about Northern Ireland’. The archive also includes photographs and site footage of the Maze and Long Kesh Prison, and Armagh Gaol.

The aim of this chapter is to explore how the Maze and Long Kesh Prison site, and oral history projects such as the Prisons Memory Archive (PMA), can help to demonstrate the multi-layered meanings of contentious history in Northern Ireland, and act as a focal point or stimulus for greater understanding of a difficult past.

Keywords

Prison sites Prisons Memory Archive Oral history projects History 

Bibliography

  1. Air Ambulance NI Website. http://www.airambulanceni.org/about/. Accessed 3 Jan 2018.
  2. Anderson, B. 2006. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  3. Auschwitz-Birkenau Website. http://auschwitz.org/en/museum/preservation/projects/. Accessed 11 Jan 2018.
  4. BBC. 2013. EU Body Withdraws Maze Prison Centre Money, October 4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-24399418. Accessed 5 Jan 2018.
  5. Belfast Telegraph. 2013. DUP Leader Peter Robinson’s About Turn on Maze “A Humiliating Retreat”, August 16. https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/dup-leader-peter-robinsons-aboutturn-on-maze-a-humiliating-retreat-29503827.html. Accessed 17 Jan 2018.
  6. Berlin Wall Memorial Website. http://www.berliner-mauer-gedenkstaette.de/en/memorial-grounds-548.html. Accessed 17 Jan 2018.
  7. Bloomfield, K. 2008. We Will Remember Them: Report of the Northern Ireland Victims Commissioner, Sir Kenneth Bloomfield KCB, April. http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/violence/victims.htm#11. Accessed 20 Jan 2018.
  8. Bryson, A. 2007. Whatever You Say, Say Nothing: Researching Memory and Identity in Mid-Ulster 1945–1969. In Oral History 35 (2): 45–56.Google Scholar
  9. Cadwallader, A. PMA Recording.Google Scholar
  10. Coiste na n-Iarchimí. 2003. A Museum at Long Kesh or the Maze? Coiste na n-Iarchimí.Google Scholar
  11. Crilly, O. PMA Recording.Google Scholar
  12. Crooke, E. 2005. Dealing with the Past: Museums and Heritage in Northern Ireland and Cape Town, South Africa. International Journal of Heritage Studies 11 (2): 131–142.Google Scholar
  13. Dawson, G. 2007. Making Peace with the Past?: Memory, Trauma, and the Irish Troubles. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Dezeen. 2013. Libeskind’s Peace Centre at Former Belfast Prison Given Go Ahead, April 19. https://www.dezeen.com/2013/04/19/daniel-libeskind-maze-peace-centre-given-go-ahead/. Accessed 3 Jan 2018.
  15. Donaghy, H., and S. O’Hare. PMA Recording.Google Scholar
  16. Ferguson, N., M. Burgess, and I. Hollywood. 2010. Who Are the Victims? Victimhood Experiences in Postagreement Northern Ireland. Political Psychology 31 (6): 857–886. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41057668. Accessed 26 Nov 2019.
  17. Giffen, H. PMA Recording.Google Scholar
  18. Graham, B., and S. McDowell. 2007. Meaning in the Maze: The Heritage of Long Kesh. Cultural Geographies 14 (3): 343–268.Google Scholar
  19. Healing Through Remembering. 2008. At the End of the Day… Commemoration – Forward Thinking into the Past, June, 12. http://healingthroughremembering.org/resources/reports/commemoration-reports/. Accessed 12 Nov 2017.
  20. Hetherington, J. PMA Recording.Google Scholar
  21. Hurson, B. PMA Recording.Google Scholar
  22. Irish Times. 2003. Ex-IRA Prisoners Call for Museum at Maze, June 5. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ex-ira-prisoners-call-for-museum-at-maze-1.361445. Accessed 15 Jan 2018.
  23. Joyce, C., and O. Lynch. 2017. Doing Peace: The Role of Ex-political Prisoners in Violence Prevention Initiatives in Northern Ireland. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 40 (12): 1072–1090.Google Scholar
  24. Knischewski, G., and U. Spittler. 2007. Competing Pasts: A Comparison of National Socialist and German Democratic Republic Remembrance in Two Berlin Memorial Sites. In Contested Spaces: Sites, Representations and Histories of Conflict, ed. L. Purbrick, J. Aulich, and G. Dawson, 318–327. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  25. Leonard, J. 1997. Memorials to the Casualties of Conflict: Northern Ireland 1969 to 1997. Northern Ireland Community Relations Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, November. http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/commemoration/leonard/leonard97.htm#part. Accessed 16 Jan 2018.
  26. Maguire, B. PMA Recording.Google Scholar
  27. Maze/Long Kesh Masterplan and Implementation Strategy Final Report, May 2006. http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/sport/docs/mazeplan/ofmdfm300506.pdf. Accessed 15 Jan 2018.
  28. McAtackney, L. 2005. The Negotiation of Identity at Shared Sites: Long Kesh/Maze Prison Site, Northern Ireland. http://www.academia.edu/459520/The_Negotiation_of_Identity_at_Shared_Sites_Long_Kesh_Maze_Prison_Site_Northern_Ireland. Accessed 20 Jan 2018.
  29. ———. 2014. An Archaeology of the Troubles: The Dark Heritage of Long Kesh/Maze Prison. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. ———. 2016. Bobby Sands’ Bed and Long Kesh/Maze’s Afterlife. Irish Times, October 3. https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/bobby-sands-bed-and-long-kesh-maze-s-afterlife-1.2814608?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter. Accessed 25 Jan 2018.
  31. ———. PMA Recording.Google Scholar
  32. McDowell, S. 2009. Negotiating Places of Pain in Post-Conflict Northern Ireland: Debating the Future of the Maze Prison/Long Kesh. In Places of Pain and Shame: Dealing with ‘Difficult Heritage’, ed. W. Logan and K. Reeves, 215-230. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. McDowell, S., and M. Braniff. 2014. Commemoration as Conflict: Space, Memory and Identity in Peace Processes. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  34. McEvoy, K., and A. Bryson. 2016. Justice, Truth and Oral History: Legislating the Past “From Below” in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 67 (1): 67–70.Google Scholar
  35. McGarrigle, E. PMA Recording.Google Scholar
  36. McKittrick, D., S. Kelters, B. Feeney, C. Thornton, and D. McVea. 2004. Lost Lives: The Stories of the Men, Women and Children Who Died as a Result of the Northern Ireland Troubles. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing.Google Scholar
  37. McLaughlin, C. 2006a. Touchstone and Tinderbox: Documenting Memories Inside the North of Ireland’s Long Kesh and Maze Prison. In Re-mapping the Field: New Approaches in Conflict Archaeology, ed. J. Schofield, A. Klausmeier, and L. Purbrick, 81-86. Berlin: Westkreuz-Verlag.Google Scholar
  38. ———. 2006b. Inside Stories, Memories from the Maze and Long Kesh Prison. Journal of Media Practice 7 (2): 123–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. ———. 2010. Recording Memories from Political Violence: A Film-Maker’s Journey. Bristol: Intellect.Google Scholar
  40. ———. 2014. Who Tells What to Whom and How: The Prisons Memory Archive. p-e-r-f-o-r-m-a-n-c-e 1, No. 1, Fall. http://www.p-e-r-f-o-r-m-a-n-c-e.org/?p=139. Accessed 13 Sep 2017.
  41. ———. 2016. Stories from Inside: The Prisons Memory Archive. In Post Conflict Literature: Human Rights, Peace, Justice, ed. C. Andrews and M. McGuire, 69–80. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  42. Neill, W.J.V. 2017. Representing the Maze/Long Kesh Prison in Northern Ireland: Conflict Resolution Centre and Tourist Draw or Trojan Horse in a Culture War? In The Palgrave Handbook of Prison Tourism: Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology, ed. J. Wilson, S. Hodgkinson, J. Piché, and K. Walby, 241–259. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  43. NewsLetter. 2010. Anger as Maze Remains “listed”, February 9. https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/anger-as-maze-remains-listed-1-1844085. Accessed 11 Jan 2018.
  44. ———. 2013a. Maze Peace Centre Approved, April 18. https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/maze-peace-centre-approved-1-5015703. Accessed 4 Jan 2018.
  45. ———. 2013b. Comment: Maze Peace Centre I Once Backed Has Become the Antithesis of Peace, June 21. https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/comment-maze-peace-centre-i-once-backed-has-become-the-antithesis-of-peace-1-5211027. Accessed 27 Jan 2018.
  46. Northern Ireland Assembly Questions, 6 March 2013. http://aims.niassembly.gov.uk/questions/printquestionsummary.aspx?docid=155745. Accessed 25 Jan 2018.
  47. Northern Ireland Buildings Database. https://apps.communities-ni.gov.uk/Buildings/buildMain.aspx?Accept. Accessed 11 Jan 2018.
  48. O’Hagan, B., and S. Maginn. PMA Recording.Google Scholar
  49. Platt, C.J. 1973. NIO/12/8/56 CJ Platt to Mr Buchanan, 22nd March (PRONI).Google Scholar
  50. Prisons Memory Archive Website. http://prisonsmemoryarchive.com/about-us/. Accessed 13 Dec 2017.
  51. Purbrick, L. 2006. Long Kesh/Maze, Northern Ireland: Public Debate as Historical Interpretation. In Re-mapping the Field: New Approaches in Conflict Archaeology, 72–80. Berlin: Westkreuz-Verlag.Google Scholar
  52. ———. 2011. The Last Murals of Long Kesh: Fragments of Political Imprisonment at the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland. In Archaeologies of Internment, ed. A. Meyers and G. Moshenska, 263–284. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  53. Shea, M. 2010. Whatever You Say, Say Something: Remembering for the Future in Northern Ireland. International Journal of Heritage Studies 16 (4–5): 289–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Shirlow, P., B. Graham, F. Ó hAdhmaill, K. McEvoy, and D. Purvis. 2005. Politically Motivated Former Prisoner Groups: Community Activism and Conflict Transformation. Northern Ireland Community Relations Council. https://cora.ucc.ie/bitstream/handle/10468/948/PS_PoliticallyPV2005.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y. Accessed 11 Jan 2018.
  55. Simpson, K. PMA Recording.Google Scholar
  56. Smith, A.D. 1999. Myths and Memories of the Nation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Taylor, P. PMA Recording.Google Scholar
  58. The Architects’ Journal. 2014. Second Andersonstown Barracks Contest to Launch Next Month, September 30. https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/home/second-andersonstown-barracks-contest-to-launch-next-month/8670347.article. Accessed 4 Jan 2018.
  59. The Guardian. 2008. Minister to Bar National Sports Stadium at Maze, May 2. https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/may/02/northernireland.northernirelandfootballteam. Accessed 11 Jan 2018.
  60. Viggiani, E. 2014. Talking Stones: The Politics of Memorialization in Post Conflict Northern Ireland. New York: Berghahn Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Prisons Memory ArchiveQueen’s University BelfastBelfastUK

Personalised recommendations