Today family members of ex-POWs and members of the Republican Socialist Movement took part in an event organised by Teach Na Failte to highlight the, sometimes forgotten, Republican Socialist narrative of the prison struggle.
30 people participated in the Crumlin Road Visitors and Attraction Centre tour of Crumlin Road Gaol. The official tour was accompanied by ex-combatants aligned to the Republican Socialist Movement who had spent time in the Gaol for their actions in opposing British Imperialism. These ex-POWs gave an account of their time spent in a British Gaol to the assembled family members and young members of the Republican Socialist Movement.
Ex-INLA combatants recalled the realities of the harsh regime in “the Crum”, their constant battles with the establishment, Provisional Republicans and Loyalist POWs. This was the harsh awakening faced by many teenage INLA Volunteers who went through Crumlin Road Gaol at the height of the War. Many stories of smuggling, comradeship, struggle and personal despair where told by those Republican Socialists who endured long periods of incarceration in “the Crum”.
Teach Na Failte have always been to the forefront in acknowledging the part members of the Republican Socialist Movement played during those dark days of prison struggle. From the battles in “the Cages” to the “the Crum” through the Hunger Strikes the fight for an autonomous INLA wing in the H-Blocks, struggles in Maghaberry and many struggles for recognition in Portlaoise Gaol we remain committed to helping ex-INLA POWs, telling their stories, and cementing their position in the historical narrative of the conflict in Ireland.