On the Inside...

This section describes what prison life has meant for the many men and women who have served sentences for Troubles-related offences.

I was on remand nine months.
I was sentenced for five counts of life,
I got four hundred years.
Then I was moved to the H-Blocks.
There had always been talk about
a hunger strike
I put my name forward 
I was young, I wasnít married,
didnít have children,
I believed that it was right.
You just get weaker and weaker
but initially the only thing is
feeling fairly cold
because you were meant
to drink only water.
You felt an emptiness in your stomach
for the first few days
and after that your stomach starts to shrink down.
After the fortieth day round at that stage
the eyes started to get fuzzy,
double vision.
I had lost consciousness round about dinner time on the Sunday,
and my mother authorised intervention.

Additional extracts from:  a man whose son was imprisoned as a member of a Loyalist paramilitary organisation, a female who was wrongly convicted and jailed,  her husband and two sons have also been imprisoned; a prison officer who worked during the dirty protest.

Proceed to next section 'A Mother's Tears'

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