Contemporary Irish Republican Prison Writing: Writing and by Lachlan Whalen (auth.)

By Lachlan Whalen (auth.)

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The importance of spatial concerns is underscored by the fact that Adams begins with a description of the physical makeup of his home in a prison Nissen hut as well as of the compound that surrounds it. The overcrowding typical in the early days of Internment 5 is very evident when Adams remarks that there are “Thirty [men] to a hut, three huts to a Cage, a washroom, an empty hut and a ‘study’ hut threw in [sic] for the crack. ”6 Adams’s trademark lively pace is clear to see in the passage’s clipped, yet humorously descriptive last sentence.

Our Barbed Wire Ivory Tower” 25 Conscientização35 in the Cages As Adams himself emphasizes in his autobiography Before the Dawn, “When I started to write I began to develop a focused view of things outside . . ”36 This critical Republican gaze was not trained solely upon the British: in stories such as “Only Joking,” Adams illustrates the extent to which Republican analysis of the wider political situation in the north began with self-critique. ” Egbert’s choice is a man named Dominic, whose trademark faux confessions were set up in the study hut.

To get a better sense of how fearful of Republican testimony the British government has been, one must only remember the degree of state censorship enacted by the Thatcher regime around the time of Cage Eleven’s publication. In 1988, Home Secretary Douglas Hurd introduced a broadcasting ban based on clause 14 (4) of the BBC’s License and Agreement, and on section 29 (3) of the Broadcasting Act of 1981. ”15 Sinn Féin, though defined by the government as a legal political party by this stage, was censored: neither the words of its representatives nor the words spoken by anyone in support of Sinn Féin could be broadcast.

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