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Prisoner 1082: Escape from Crumlin Road, Europe's Alcatraz

By Dónal Donnelly


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On St Stephen's Day 1960 Dónal Donnelly made his dramatic escape from the prison known as 'Europe's Alcatraz'. Using hack-saw blades, torn sheets and electric flex, Donal broke out of Crumlin Road Prison, running the gauntlet of searchlights, alarms and machine-gun nests. Three years earlier, the teenage Dónal had been convicted of membership of the IRA in the first year of 'Operation Harvest'. He was sentenced to ten years. As 12,000 Ulster police and B Specials pursued him, nationalists and republicans gave him shelter and support.

Here he reflects on why he came to be on top of a prison wall risking his life. He describes the penal conditions in Northern Ireland and outlines in detail how the IRA operated in that period. He charts his later involvement in business, his search for justice for the marginalised and his friendship with the republican agitator and author Peadar O'Donnell. This is the story of a man who was banned from his hometown for thirty years by a vindictive government and how he overcame the hurdles to live a successful, happy life.

  • Book Format: Paperback
  • Published: 2017
  • Dimensions: 198 x 128 mm
  • Number of pages: 210
  • ISBN: 9781848893146
  • Illustrations note: B&W photos,
A story with all the drama and thrills of a Hollywood movie.
Readable writing style ... rousing.
Entertaining tale.
Well written.
Prisoner 1082 Dónal Donnelly

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