Talk:Maze Prison escape

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Good article Maze Prison escape has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
November 9, 2007 Good article nominee Listed
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on September 1, 2007.

Metric conversions[edit]

Removed as they made no sense. Saying both 15 feet and 18 feet are 5 metres in the same sentence shows how flawed that particular system is. One Night In Hackney303 16:27, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Security rating[edit]

Is maximum security the right term? The Maze article says high security. Stu ’Bout ye! 10:35, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

It might have been surpassed by Belmarsh in UK terms now but the Hennessy Report into the escape says "We described in Chapter 2 how the Maze grew from a small temporary internment centre at Long Kesh in 1971 into the huge modern maximum security prison it is today". One Night In Hackney303 10:40, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Name of article[edit]

Shirley this should be called the Maze escape and not the Maze Prison escape? Fiiiiight!!!--Vintagekits 19:16, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Not really. It needs to be made clear it was an escape from a prison. One Night In Hackney303 22:38, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
The article makes it perfectly clear girlyman! Common name and all that you havent got a Heather McCartney.--Vintagekits 22:44, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
The article name has to make it clear to. One Night In Hackney303 23:20, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Does it?!?--Vintagekits 11:52, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes. "Maze escape" is a meaningless and ambiguous title. Google it and see. One Night In Hackney303 21:17, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Jesus, if ya want it that bad keep it the way it is!--Vintagekits 02:10, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Actually I think it should be renamed Irish republican prisoner escapes as it focuses on escape attempts by members of the IRA from all prisons rather than actual escape attempts from this particular prison. Read previous escape attempts section to see the point. Captainbeecher (talk) 20:17, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

  • This is a very nice article, and I think that it is very close to a GA. The prose is good, the sources reliable and appropriately used and it is comprehensive. However there are problems with the lead. Basically, the lead is too short and must provide some more context for the article. The lead should not only explain what happened, but also give some idea of the long term ramifications of the event and also make some effort to place the escape within the wider context of the Troubles - somebody who knew no context coming into the article would be a bit lost as to who was who.
  • Secondly, is there any chance of more pictures? The plan of the maze is nice, but are there no photographs of the prison which could be inserted, the piece is a little bare and another photo might help make it seem less text-heavy? Connected to this, would an infobox be appropriate to help with a general overview?
  • Thirdly, and my only textual issue, it is mentioned that an escapee was shot by a soldier during the escape but no further details are given. Was he killed? Wounded? Did he escape? Do we know a name?

Thats all. Once the lead is taken care of and the other comments addressed either here or in the article, then I would be happy to pass this for GA.--Jackyd101 11:38, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Taking each point in turn:
  • There weren't really any long term ramifications of the event. No politicians or staff resigned despite the initial outcry from the usual suspects. Security was reviewed naturally, and prisoners no longer had to work as a result of the escape. That needs adding to the article, but not to the lead. All I can think of adding to the lead except some more context is details about the inquiry.
  • More pictures are nigh-on impossible. Even after the prison officialy shut people going on tours weren't allowed to take photos, and as you can imagine photos weren't exactly encouraged while the prison was open. The image that is there is justified in terms of fair use, but I can't imagine any of the other ones being really justified, except possibly Figure 5? I'm not really sure what sort of infoxbox could possibly be used, or what to put in it?
  • Just wounded and captured, I'll clarify that when I do the rest. No further details are available, the Hennessy Report didn't give any.
Thanks. One Night In Hackney303 11:50, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

How about this for an infobox, I realise its not ideal but I think this article really needs to connect with an unfamiliar reader more clearly and infoboxes are a good way to do that:

Maze Prison escape
Part of The Troubles
Question opening-closing.svg
(the above is an example image, in reality, image 2 might work here with the caption H-Block 7)
Date 25 September 1983
Location HM Prison Maze, Northern Ireland
Result 35 prisoners escaped
IRA prisoners HM Prison Officers
Casualties and losses
1 shot, 19 recaptured within 24 hours 1 dead, 20 injured

Of the images, image number 2 of HB7 is probably within the fair use parameters as that is the block the prisoners were held in, as is figure 5. As for the lead, simply stating that the escape prompted a review of prison security in Northern Ireland and that this prevented any subsequent escapes (the article doesn't mention any anyway) would be a good start, the real trick with the intro though is to introduce more historical context to the article.--Jackyd101 12:31, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

I've amended the lead and clarified the wording. However I'm unsure on the rest, especially the infobox as it's got very dubiously titled sections. It's also difficult to put the 38/35 information in the infobox, as I'll explain. If you look at most of the sources, they generally tend to say 38 prisoners escaped from the prison, but that isn't technically true. I specifically phrased the lead to say "escaped from H7" rather than "escaped from the prison". The 38 number is the common number that's used when talking about the escape, so that really should be in the lead rather than the rarely reported 35 actual escapees. So if the lead and infobox seem contradictory I think it's a problem. The injuries part is also dubious, as IRA prisoners were also injured during the fighting. Full details aren't available for obvious reasons, and although I forget which source it's in (too many books.....) Kieran Fleming was badly injured during a fight early in the escape, and had to be encouraged to take part in another fight later on. So I'm concerned that if we only put the injuries to the prison officers, it makes it look like they didn't try and fight back to stop the escape. But as we've no real details about injuries to the escapees, I don't know what to do.
The only subsequent escape I'm aware of was in 1997 (I think, I'll find out before adding it) when Liam Averill escaped by dressing as a woman and swapping places with a visitor. So something on the end of the reactions section about the report recommending security be overhauled etc etc (unfortunately there's no source to say it was done, but you'd hope....), and no escapes until then?
I'm not convinced the H7 image can be used in the article. I tried to keep the details of the escape as to the point as possible while still covering all the important bases, as if you read the full details it's pretty long-winded. I don't consider the early part of "a was stood next to b, c was stood next to d, e was stood next to f etc etc" to be that important to the article, and without that that image can't really be used in the article. The image currently being used is helpful, as reading the article (or the Hennessy Report) most people would struggle to comprehend the layout about when it gets to talking about the pedestrian gate, main gate and external gate. However I don't see the other image being the same. All it really does is slightly improve on the existing image being used. If you really think it's necessary I'll add it, but I just see it as an image for the sake of it which doesn't really come under fair use. One Night In Hackney303 14:18, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Upon consideration of the infobox, I agree with you that it doesn't work. The new lead you have introduced is much better and provides much better context for the article (although I would give it another copyedit). My reservations about the introduction are largely resolved. As for pictures, the article is text-heavy and some photos or pictures would definately enhance it, however if you really cannot find anything, then so be it. Keep up the good work you're doing and I'll come back tomorrow to reasess the article.--Jackyd101 16:21, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Not got round to finishing it yet, will probably be tomorrow now. One Night In Hackney303 14:38, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Fine, catch you then.--Jackyd101 18:40, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Have you finished with this article or is there more to come? There haven't been any edits since your last post here? Let me know when it is done.--Jackyd101 13:59, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Not yet, got sidetracked with a personal matter then Rose Dugdale. Should be done later today. One Night In Hackney303 14:00, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Done. Anything you're not happy with let me know. One Night In Hackney303 14:35, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Much better, much clearer style and introduction is now much better at explaining the article to the uninitiated. I am promoting this to GA. A few notes for the future:

  • a) The introduction might be better expanded still further and in two paragraphs, it is a neater way of entering the article and generally looks better, FAs usually call for 2-4 paragraphs in the intro.

*b) The Great Escape in the intro needs a citation. My mistake, sorry, didn't see the citation.

  • c) More pictures needed, this article could seriously do with a few more pictures, even purely decorative free use images of the Maze if such can be found. This is in order to break up the text and help with a reader's flow.
  • d) Per a discussion above, this article needs to be titled Maze Prison escape (or at a pinch HMP Maze escape). Simply Maze escape is nowhere near descriptive enough to an unfamiliar reader and runs the risk of not only being technically incorrect but downright confusing.

Thats all, good job, well done,--Jackyd101 00:24, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. I'll take a look at the lead at some point, try and work in something about what happened to the escapees. With reference to b), it's cited at the start of the Reaction section. I don't really see much point in adding it as a footnote in the lead as well? I've just obtained a free picture of H7 which was taken recently, it's a bit uninformative as it's just walls, fences and barbed wire, but it'll help break up the text a bit. One Night In Hackney303 00:41, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Prison Officer killed?[edit]

An unnamed source told me that an officer manning one of the gates was shot in the eye and killed by one of the escaping prisoners.In the article it says that one officer died of a heart attack and two others were shot;one in the head and he survived.jeanne (talk) 12:48, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

This is correct, several officers were wounded in the escape, two critically. The officer about whom you refer did die some years later, having never fully recovered from his injuries. While doctors agreed that death was partly as a result of the injuries suffered in the breakout it was felt that a criminal case against the escapees would prove futile. On the 20th anniversary of the escape paint and excrement were thrown over the officer's grave. Captainbeecher (talk) 20:27, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Subsequent escape attempts[edit]

Should "Subsequent escape attempts" only contain other attempts from the Maze? I don see why it mentions other prisons, that should be left for there articles. Murry1975 (talk) 05:50, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

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