© By Amanda Dunsmore
“The Maze” prison was developed from the “Long Kesh” internment camp and once confined more than a thousand men. It became the scene for symbolic protests and radical agitation, which lead to it attaining a special status and focal point of the conflict in Northern Ireland. It played a significant role in the negotiations for The Peace Process and was finally closed down on 29th September 2000.
Through her work with prisoners & prison staff from 1998 to 2000, Dunsmore was able to access former security sensitive areas, such as the original Long Kesh Compound.
Billy Hull was the longest serving security prison officer at the Maze/Long Kesh prison. Against prison policy, Billy collected items relating to various individuals, incidents and occurrences. On his retirement Billy made a museum which has never been seen by the public.
“I was very interested in keeping the history of the prison alive. So when things happened I took it upon myself to collect it, I took it upon myself, items that were found on searches, items that were turned up outside belonging to the prison. I put these all away under lock and key.
My instructions from the powers to be was destroy it, no evidence, everything must be destroyed. But at the back of my mind I kept saying ´Its terrible that things like this should be destroyed, it should be kept. So I kept them, and I kept them locked away in one of the compounds in Long Kesh, for fifteen years.”
Billy Hull, 2003.
Video (20 MInutes)