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Tuesday 6 June 2023 Dublin: 13°C
A cell in H Block No. 4 the Maze Long Kesh prison site near Lisburn where ten IRA Hunger stikers led by Bobby Sands died in 1981.
# Northern Ireland
From Maze to Museum
Notorious Northern Irish prison set to become a monument to peace.

THE MAZE PRISON site is to be redeveloped as a tourist attraction, according to Northern Irish politicians. First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness announced the new development today, saying that the new facility will promote the success of the peace process.

An agreement was reached between the DUP and Sinn Féin regarding the prison site and the proposal will now be put before the Northern Assembly. If approved by the Assembly, the plans could be implemented within six months of the vote.

Certain key buildings on the 360-acre site would be retained under the development plan, including buildings linked to the IRA hunger strike in 1981.

Martin McGuinness said the joint office would shortly submit an application for EU funding for the Conflict Resolution, and added:

It is anticipated that the centre will be a world class facility of international importance designed to strengthen our peace building expertise and to share our experiences with others throughout the world.

Robinson said it could potentially create some 6,000 jobs, securing the construction industry in the region for years to come.

The prison has been the site of a number of key events in the history of the Troubles. In the 70s a series of prisoner riots caused a huge blaze in the prison and injured over 100 prison officers.

In 1981, 10 republican hunger strikers, including Bobby Sands, starved to death in the Maze. Loyalist prisoner Billy Wright was shot dead inside the prison in 1997 after guns were smuggled in.