Interview with Former Political Prisoner, Irish Republican Activist, and Playwright Laurence McKeown

Dieter Reinisch


This is an interview with former IRA prisoners, 1981 hunger striker, and Irish Republican activist Laurence McKeown. He received an Open University Degree in HMP Maze and went on to conduct a PhD at Queen’s University Belfast. McKeown is now a play writer who lives in the Republic of Ireland. In this interview, he speaks about growing up in the North of Ireland, how he became an Irish Republican, the conflict in the North of Ireland, his prison experience in the H-Blocks of HMP Maze, the prison protests that led to the hunger strikes, and his life after prison, studying at university during the conflict, the sectarianism, and his life as a play writer. The interview was conducted during the conference “Irish Society, History & Culture: 100 Years After 1916” at the European University Institute in Florence in October 2016.

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