Controversy over ‘Breakout’…

For anyone who didn’t catch Breakout on BBC NI early this week, it’s well worth a watch again, not least because as one or two readers here on Slugger have commented it gives a pretty sympathetic rendering to the Republican perspective of the matter. It features the story of the Maze escapers of September 1983, as told by three of the leading figures in the escape: Gerry Kelly, Bik McFarlane and Bobby Storey. Unsurprisingly, it’s caused some outrage in the Unionist community not least since the criticism of Mr Kelly in particular:

To all decent-minded people, it is an insight into the depraved mind of an IRA man.

The lawlessness and brutality on display that day 25 years ago was the hallmark of the IRA and the fact that Mr Kelly showed no mercy or hesitation when he pumped a bullet into the head of a prison officer tells us all that we need to know about him.

Yet Mr Kelly now holds senior political office in Northern Ireland with every prospect of even becoming a future Minister for Policing and Justice.

Kelly first broke his 25 year long silence on the matter in an interview with Jason O’Toole (subs needed) in Hot Press earlier this year…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty