About the Escape:
The book is as close to the full truth of the mass escape from Long Kesh in 1983 as anyone is likely to get. It is the inside story but, even 30 years later, not every detail can be given. The names of the escapees are true, as are the names of Republicans who have died since. Pseudonyms are used out of necessity for others but in the main the actions described are true to people’s memories.Sometimes there were small conflicts of detail related to events. In such cases Gerry used his judgement and some licence to join up the dots as all conflicting accounts could not be accurate.The book is written, as most escape stories are, from the point of view of the political prisoners. Prison guards may write their own versions of prison history during the long conflict in the North of Ireland. That is their narrative. The Escape, is Gerry Kelly’s.There will be detractors – there always are – but Gerry’s experience in writing the book and talking to those ex-POWs involved, is that they maintain a great pride in having been part of this historic escapade. Gerry shares that pride.The 1983 Escape from Long Kesh Prison camp was the largest mass escape from a European jail since the end of the Second World War. Gerry Kelly along with 37 of his comrades, defied all probability using cunning, expertise and daring to smash out of what was at the time, the most secure prison in Europe. This is his story….
About Gerry Kelly:
Gerry Kelly was born in Belfast in 1953. He was reared in a family of eleven children. When the ‘Troubles’ broke out in the late sixties, with many of his generation, he joined in the resistance against the military forces of the British backed Orange State in the North of Ireland.He has been an Irish Republican Activist all his adult life. After joining the IRA he was imprisoned on a number of occasions-escaping twice. On his release in 1989 he joined Sinn Féin and became part of their negotiating team leading up to the Good Friday Agreement.Elected for the first time in 1996 he became a Member of the new Legislative Assembly (MLA) in 1998. He has been a member since then having been returned in successive elections. Between 2007 and 2011 he was a junior Minister. He is now Sinn Féin’s policing spokesperson and is also a member of the Policing Board.He lives with his wife Margaret in Belfast. This is his first book Gerry Kelly MLA will be signing copies of The Escape from 3pm, on Saturday the 22nd of March at 3pm. Everyone welcome!