August 16th, 2019

Armagh Gaol is Brought to Life by Young Filmmakers in Armagh

The busy summer continues for the Women in the Archives team.

PRONI and the Nerve Centre team spent a week at the AmmA centre in Armagh working with 14 talented young filmmakers. They made two short films about the town's well-known jail.

Armagh Gaol is one of Northern Ireland’s most important landmark buildings. Its construction began in the 1780 and was extended in the 1840 and 1850s. Armagh Gaol was the primary women's prison in the north of Ireland although at various points in its history it also held male prisoners. 

During the Troubles, the prison was the scene of various protests and the hardships of prison life affected prisoners, families on the outside as well as prison staff and their families. The prison closed in 1986 and has been vacant since its closure and is presently on the Built Heritage at Risk (BHARNI) list. 

Throughout the week, participants got hands-on with the latest filmmaking technologies, engaged with PRONI’s collections, including the oral history recordings of the Prisons Memory Archive, and explored women’s different experiences of imprisonment.

Participants had a busy week researching, storyboarding, script writing, planning a film shoot, filming and editing and they also gained an OCN qualification.

They produced two short films:

A Day in the Life: The Misunderstood – Journalist Sarah Michaelson speaks to two former prisoners to find out more about what life was like in Armagh Gaol.

Teachers in Prison - Two teachers arrive for another day in the classroom, but one of the students is missing. What happened to Jennifer? 

They also produced a behind the scenes video documenting their engagement with the programme:

Both films are available online, but are privately listed as requested by participants. Please email laura.aguiar@communities-ni.gov.uk to request a link to watch the films.

Women In the Archives

Project Contacts

Jason Burke

Community Engagement Officer at Linen Hall Library

028 9032 1707

Laura Aguiar

Community Engagement Officer & Creative Producer at Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

028 9053 4829

Lynsey Gillespie

Curator at Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

028 9053 4830

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Armagh Gaol is Brought to Life by Young Filmmakers in Armagh
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Armagh Gaol is Brought to Life by Young Filmmakers in Armagh
Armagh Gaol is Brought to Life by Young Filmmakers in Armagh
Armagh Gaol is Brought to Life by Young Filmmakers in Armagh

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