Each time you are transferred to a new prison, there is something called “the party”. They show you who’s boss. In most cases it’s beatings, but in one, we were stripped, told to lie down facing the ground with our arms behind our back, and they started to jump on our backs, from one prisoner to the next.
It’s normal to be cursed, stripped naked, beaten with a bar, or put in solitary confinement or the “tank” (a pitch-black 3.5m x 5.5m cell). They might also torture another prisoner in front of you. Of course you never forget. Ever.
After a prison “inspection”, you might go back to your cell and find things missing. If your family visits and you get something from them that the guards like, you may as well forget it.
Once, coming back from a hearing in my mass trial, I was hit with the back of an AK47 and asked where I was from. The officer put his AK47 to my chest and said: “I wish I could take you out, you fucking Irish. But I can’t.”
During a recent hunger strike, I was left to die. I was out. My fellow prisoners, with whom I share a cell, banged on the door for help – they were told: “When he dies, knock.” That is a really small fraction of what happens and has happened to me.
…The capacity of the prison is 2,000. It currently holds more than 6,000 prisoners.
…Ireland – I miss everything about Ireland. Home, family, friends, the people, school, going out, laughing, love, hiking, swimming, the kindness. I miss going out to the sights, seeing Ireland and Irish nature.
I miss town and the noise of the city and how at 9pm it shuts and no one is in the street. I miss the fresh air. TV.
Cinema. Fishing. Go-karting. Shopping. Running for the Dublin bus. Eating at Chippers. Looking far away – the furthest I have seen in over 1,000 days is less than half a kilometre. I miss my bed and my pillows. I miss the Cliffs of Moher. The parks. I miss eating popcorn and cookies. I could go on for ever.