North’s Maze breakout film to be shot in old Cork prison

The filming of a new movie documenting the 1983 prison breakout of IRA prisoners from the North’s Maze Prison got under way at the recently decommissioned Cork prison yesterday.

North’s Maze breakout film to be shot in old Cork prison

An Irish-Swedish co-production, MAZE stars Love/Hate’s Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Rebellion’s Barry Ward.

The film will be shot in the old Cork prison and around the city over the next four weeks.

The 38 inmates’ escape in September 1983 was the largest ever breakout from a British prison.

James Hickey, chief executive of the Irish Film Board, described the film as “an exciting prison break story”.

“One of the benefits of Irish film production is that it can take place all over the country from Cork to Donegal, creating employment opportunities and providing investment in local business and services,” he said.

Steven Davenport, line producer on MAZE, said the production has benefited from the assistance of both the Prison Service and Film In Cork, an initiative from Cork City and County Councils that aims to market the county to media producers.

“With the assistance of the Irish Prison Services and helped by Film In Cork, offering on the ground support on both locations and skilled local crew in the Cork area, the prison itself is a perfect stand-in for the notorious Maze prison, which offers unrivalled production value,” said Mr Davenport.

The old Cork prison on the Rathmore Road dates from the early 19th century and was in use until last February, when its 150 inmates were moved to a new €42m facility nearby.

The old prison was the source of constant criticism, particularly given the need for prisoners to slop out due to the lack of in-cell sanitation. It will act as the on-screen double of HM Prison Maze, which is partly demolished having closed in 2000.

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