In the souvenir programme for Chronicles of Long Kesh Martin Lynch writes about the books that influenced him to write this play and others similar to it. He mentions Jimmy Boyle’s A Sense of Freedom, and claims that some blanket men he spoke to actually revealed it was referenced at the beginning of their debate about a proposed dirty protest. Its not hard to see why..
Robin Hodge writes in his review of Sense of Freedom
The timing of the story is important. In 1967, Jimmy Boyle was the first high profile figure to be convicted of murder after the death penalty was abolished. Scottish prisons suddenly had to deal with people sentenced to life imprisonment; young men who felt that they had nothing to lose, some of whom resolved to take on the system. There followed five years of extreme confrontation with riots, vicious assaults, prolonged solitary confinement, dirty protests, punishment cells, cages and brutality on all sides.
Martin Lynch speaks to Slugger
The other influences he mentions were the stories of Bobby Devlin. This is clear in Chronicles of Long Kesh as one character chats away to the seagulls to help him do his time. Also mentioned are George Jackson and Angela Davis as well as Richard O’Rawe’s The Blanket Men.
Among the events around the play will be this Saturdays discussion on Experiences in Political conflict in the Waterfront Hall. Reservations are recommended: Tel 02890 291 555