What struck me most about the BBC documentary Breakout last Monday was the choice of language used by the three IRA leaders. Prison officers were referred to as ‘screws’ throughout, thus dehumanising them.
The prison officers were ‘arrested’, when forcibly abducted and threatened might have been more accurate. The ‘cause’ and the ‘struggle’ were constantly mentioned. The failure to explain how the weapons were smuggled into prison was a significant omission.
I did not see the entire programme, so may have missed something, but there was no sense that any of the three had any regret or remorse about their actions. The casual manner in which they spoke about hijacking cars and taking over houses demonstrated that the devastating effect on their victims was of no concern to them.
The threat to kidnap a child, surely any parent’s worst nightmare, was clearly viewed as a legitimate tactic.The saddest aspect of the whole programme was the apparent pride that the three displayed.
We told that we must move on. Some of us would like to. Unfortunately, Brendan, Bobby and Gerry appear never to have escaped from the Maze. After 25 years their minds are still there. If a botched escape bid, inflicting trauma and distress on others, is the highlight of their lives, it indicates a very sad life. Until they can mentally break out, there is little hope for the future