Armagh Gaol served as Northern Ireland’s only female prison during the Troubles until its closure in 1986 when all prisoners were transferred to Maghaberry Prison in Lisburn. At the height of the conflict, the number of female political prisoners grew from 2 in 1971 to more than 100 between 1972 and 1976. Due to the growing prison population during the Troubles, Armagh also housed male remand and sentenced prisoners.
The Prisons Memory Archive has recorded 34 individuals who were connected to Armagh Gaol during the conflict, including loyalist and republican prisoners (both male and female), prison officers, teachers, welfare workers, solicitors, visitors and chaplains. Here are short extracts from some of their stories.
Unseen Women: Stories from Armagh Gaol is a 27min film, edited by Jolene Mairs, based on these recordings. See events for details on screening and contact us for more information.