Pioneers and Politics: Open University Journeys in British and Irish prisons in Long Kesh during the years of conflict 1972-1975

O'Sullivan, Philip and Kent, Gabi (2019). Pioneers and Politics: Open University Journeys in British and Irish prisons in Long Kesh during the years of conflict 1972-1975. In: Earle, Rod and Mehigan, James eds. Degrees of Freedom: Prison Education at the Open University. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 33–46.

URL: https://policy.bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/degree...

Abstract

This chapter outlines the events which sparked the educational journeys of hundreds of loyalist and republican Open University (OU) students who were prisoners in British and Irish prisons during the conflict in and about Northern Ireland from 1972. While other prisons were also important sites of study, our story centres around the legacy of OU teaching at a particular place and time, namely at the Maze and Long Kesh prison near Belfast in Northern Ireland at the height of the conflict. This story is a testament and witness to the pioneering vision of educationalists and students whose paths crossed in the fight for the right to higher education and prefigures how these stories form part of the wider narrative of the conflict and eventual peace process in Northern Ireland.

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