Saturday, 4 July 2009

The most constructive future for the Maze is to flatten it

I’m going to defend Sammy Wilson. Everyone please retrieve their jaws from wherever they’re now lying.

The outgoing Environment Minister is investigating whether he can de-list buildings at the site of the ex Maze prison. Amongst republican commentators such talk is presented as extremist posturing by the DUP in an attempt to underline its hardline credentials.

Whatever the party’s motivation, as it seeks to remove protection for unremarkable buildings, in which some convicted terrorists happen to have committed suicide, repugnance at such a place being effectively sanctified is neither a hardline attitude nor an unusual one.

Moving this society forward has required some unpalatable compromises, but what it simply cannot entail is acceptance of history, rewritten to suit the provisional movement. It is thoroughly disgraceful to suggest that IRA terrorists should be memorialised and glorified as a matter of course. All the more so where the proposed celebrations are in high profile, publicly accessible sites.

Conferring retrospective legitimacy on a shameful campaign of murder which had the backing of a tiny minority must never be the lesson we learn from our squalid conflict.

The Maze prison is a remnant of a grubby, bloody past and the most constructive future for its buildings is to raze them to the ground.


Timothy Belmont said...

Why, on earth, anyone in their right mind would wish to preserve anything on a temporary prison block of concrete and barbed wire miles from nowhere is beyond me. Even those who think it's a shrine ought to re-consider. Do we really want to remember it?

It may be best suited to use as a housing development, business park, and infrastructure such as cinema, shops, bars etc.

T G MacAmhloaibh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chekov said...

There is no general right to comment on this forum and we shall certainly not be subjected to utter garbage of the type which I've just deleted.

Darren said...

I would love to have it kept as a link to the past, so school children from all over our country and this world could come and see where the terrorists were kept. The Maze Prison will go down in history, my only hope is that we tell it right and stop the glorification of the inmates and show it as a place that terrorist criminals where housed in order to pay for the inhuman crimes they committed against all the people of Northern Ireland.


WNIF said...

SB I want it destroyed, the tale of how terrorism has destroyed many lives in Northern Ireland and further afield can still be told without the propaganda of a "hunger strike" museum.

All the best


Darren. said...

WHIF, I know what you’re saying, because the truth is, most, if not all of the Prison Officers I have talked with and who walked its wings, want it levelled also.

They would feel that it would turn into an almighty argument and because the Government let them all out, they would give into them on this issue and the Prison would become a memorial for the criminal elements and not the officers.

I walked its wings so many times down the years as a kid, times when I should not have been near the place. But it means so much to me and I really hate the thought of it being totally ripped down.

That said, they did not really start off on the right foot if anything was going to be done with it. The building team went in like a pack of wild boar with, let’s just say with quite obvious disregard for the Prison Officer commemorative plaque and remembrance garden area which was built by some officers back in the day. It was nearly destroyed.

This is said remembrance garden.

WNIF said...

Then why not have a huge garden of remembrance for the PO's that served there with a giant memorial plinth. Get rid of the hospital and H Block, for like it or not, that is a symbol of murderous provo republicanism (and all the other low life criminals) - yesterdays men.