By Lachlan Whalen (auth.)
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Extra resources for Contemporary Irish Republican Prison Writing: Writing and Resistance
Although the taoibh amuigh version does raise a call to action, it is a more general one without explicit reference to any contemporary Republican POWs on whose behalf the reader might agitate. Furthermore, Cage Eleven’s “Frank Stagg, 1976” firmly casts the reader in the more palatable role of potential solution to the problem rather than the more complex and uncomfortable subject position constructed by the Republican News version, one that underscores both individual agency as well as culpability.
The acceptance of this state of affairs was viewed by some in the [British] army as analogous to the unacceptable challenge to the authorities posed by the no-go areas controlled by the IRA in republican areas . 20 While it lasted in the Cages, Special Category Status allowed a degree of agency for POWs within Long Kesh; in its recognition of Provisional military command structures, Special Category Status conferred an implicit legitimacy upon Republican paramilitary groups as well. ”21 In his book The Production of Space, Lefebvre further points out “the repressive and assimilative capacity of .
Readers sympathetic to Stagg might very easily despair at the apparent inability of discourse to intervene in moments of crisis; after all, Adams’s bid to save Stagg’s life failed. Is the article included in Cage Eleven only as a historical document or as an example of the futility of mixing literature and politics? Quite the opposite: Adams’s response to Stagg’s death seems clear enough when he concludes that “The Dublin government has abandoned its responsibility to its own citizens. ” While the Cage Eleven “Frank Stagg, 1976” eschews the overt specificity of much faoi ghlas prison writing, the later version nonetheless demonstrates that Adams, like other resistance writers taoibh amuigh, remains intent on inspiring action in the present.