SynopsisRaymond Lohan wearily follows his normal routine: an ordinary man doing the job of a prison officer in the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland, 1981. Working within one of the infamous H-Blocks, where republican prisoners are on the Blanket and No-Wash protest, is a living hell for both prisoner and prison officer.
A young, new prisoner Davey Gillen is brought into this environment for the first time. Although terrified, Davey resolutely refuses to wear the prison uniform - he is no common criminal. So joining the Blanket protest, he shares a filthy cell with another ‘non-conforming’ republican prisoner Gerry Campbell. Gerry, hardened to the horrific realities of Maze life, guides Davey through the daily routine, he trains him how to smuggle items and exchange ‘comms’ (communications) with the outside world, passing them on to their H-Block leader Bobby Sands at Sunday Mass.
The prisoners are persuaded to take up the prison regime’s offer of civilian clothes – a potential breakthrough in their struggle to regain political status – only for them to be mocked by the ‘clown clothes’ handed out. A riot erupts. In the mayhem, the prisoners destroy the clean cells they’ve been moved to. The riot is violently crushed with beatings and body searches. The violence spreads beyond the Maze; no prison officer is safe and Raymond is shot dead.
Bobby Sands meets Father Dominic Moran. Once the initial humorous banter is out the way, Bobby reveals that he is going to lead a new Hunger Strike to protest for special category status for republican prisoners. The conversation immediately intensifies into a battle of words that illuminates the men’s prisoners’ determination to begin another Hunger Strike through the priest’s questioning of motives and morality. Bobby’s mind is unchanged and the strike will begin.
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