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IRA Maze escape movie plea by son of warder Brian Stack

By Staff Reporter

Published 08/04/2016

Gerry Kelly in 1983
Gerry Kelly in 1983
A soldier vaults his way into a garden near the M1 as a large-scale search operation gets under way for the Maze escapees
The food lorry at the centre of the breakout
The Maze Prison where Gerry Kelly escaped from in 1983

The son of a prison officer murdered by the IRA in Dublin has urged the Republic's acting Justice Minister to step into the row over a movie about the 1983 Maze prison escape.

The recently vacated Cork Prison is to be used as a set for the film about the biggest ever British prison breakout.

Criticism: Austin Stack
Criticism: Austin Stack

Brian Stack was chief officer at Portlaoise when he was shot and fatally wounded in March 1983. His son Austin yesterday criticised the Irish Prison Service for allowing filming.

It said the project "was providing employment opportunities and investments in local businesses and services".

But Mr Stack said the Irish Government had intervened before, when former minister Dermot Ahern refused to allow the use of his departmental offices for the filming of The General, the 1998 John Boorman film about Irish gangster Martin Cahill.

"Mr Ahern told me that he took a principled stand and would not allow a State facility to be used to make a film which glamorised Martin Cahill," said Mr Stack.

He added that he was now calling on the acting Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to take "the same principled and courageous stance as the former minister did".

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