The Courtyard Theatre at Ballyearl recently played host to a screening of the pioneering documentary ‘Unseen Women, Voices from Armagh Gaol’.
This was the second event in the series of the Time Served programme, which looks at the unheard histories of Northern Ireland’s prisons.
Time Served, an initiative of the Bridging Our Community Gap Programme (BOCG), is led by Newtownabbey Borough Council and is supported by the European Union’s PEACE III Programme, delivered locally through the Carrickfergus Antrim Newtownabbey (CAN) Peace III Partnership.
The documentary screening was followed by a lively audience discussion with the panel, which included the documentary makers Cathal McLaughlin and Jolene Mairs and Open University tutors Jenny Meegan and Pat Jess who taught in the prison at the time.
Speaking at the event, vice-chair of the CAN Peace III Partnership, Councillor Noreen McClelland praised the filmmakers for their work.
“It is moving to witness the human side of the story, to hear what it was like to walk along a prison wing for the first time, to be separated from a child, to take a teaching job in the most unexpected of classrooms. The stories of the ‘unseen women’ have been both seen and heard and they make us reflect on our own stories, some still unheard.”
The Time Served programme continues with the film screening of ‘Release’ on Monday, November 18 at 7pm at The Old Courthouse, Antrim.
First unveiled in 2012, ‘Release’ was described as “groundbreaking”. The film features the stories of a former RUC detective, prison governor, British soldier, two ex-prisoners and a man trapped in a car bomb as a child and charts their coming together.
The screening will be followed by a discussion with two of the film’s contributors, a former prisoner and former prison governor.Admission is free, but anyone wishing to attend should contact Ruairi O’ Connor by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 028 9034 0209.
Further information about Time Served and other Peace III initiatives is available online at www.canpeace3.org