The son of murdered Chief Prison Officer Brian Stack has described the making of a movie about the 1983 Maze escape in the recently decommissioned Cork Prison as a glamorisation and glorification of terrorism.
Love/Hate star Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Rebellion's Barry Ward are playing the lead roles in the film, which is written and directed by award-winning shorts director Stephen Burke.
Speaking to RTÉ, Austin Stack said the victims of the Maze prison escape will be "re-traumatised" and "re-victimised" with the making of the movie, entitled Maze, which will film in Cork Prison and Cork City for four weeks
Stack said victims of the prison escape will be "re-traumatised" by the film
Brian Stack, a father of three, was Chief Prison Officer at Portlaoise Prison. He was shot by the IRA in March 1983 outside the National Stadium in Dublin and died 18 months later from his injuries.
Thirty-eight IRA prisoners escaped from HMP Maze near Belfast in September 1983. One prison officer died from a heart attack after being stabbed and another was seriously injured.
Austin Stack called on the Minister for Justice to override the decision of the Irish Prison Service to allow the use of a state facility for the making of the new film. He said "no right thinking arm of the State should be involved in a project [that] will essentially glorify the death of a prison officer".
In a statement, The Irish Prison Service said it had "a track record in supporting the Irish film industry. The filming in Cork will create employment opportunities and create investment in local business and services," it added.
Maze is an Irish-Swedish co-production, produced by Dublin company Mammoth Films and Belfast's Cyprus Avenue Films, with the Irish Film Board and RTÉ among the organisations providing financial backing. The film has been supported by Cork County Council and Cork County Council Arts Offices as part of their Film in Cork initiative.
The Maze prison
When the start of production on Maze was announced, James Hickey, Chief Executive, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, described it as "an exciting prison break story which will feature a host of Irish acting talent" including Tom Vaughan Lawlor, who's best known fro playing Nidge in Love/Hate.
Tom Vaughan Lawlor plays one of the key roles in the movie
"One of the benefits of Irish film production is that it can take place all over the country from Cork to Donegal, creating employment opportunities and providing investment in local business and services," he said.
The film's line producer, Steven Davenport, praised the support the production had received.
Cillian Murphy and Padraic Delaney in The Wind That Shakes the Barley
"With the assistance of the Irish Prison Services and helped by Film in Cork offering on the ground support on both locations and skilled local crew in the Cork area, the prison itself is a perfect stand in for the notorious Maze prison, which offers unrivalled production value," he said.
Cork has been the location for a number of Irish films in recent years including Ken Loach's Palme d'Or-winning The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Neil Jordan's Ondine and Ian Power's The Runway.