About Time: Surviving Ireland's Death Row by Peter Pringle

By Peter Pringle

Legislations and justice are usually not regularly one and a similar. On November 27, 1980, Peter Pringle waited in an Irish courtroom to listen to the subsequent phrases: "Peter Pringle, for the crime of capital homicide . . . the legislation prescribes just one penalty, and that penalty is death." the matter used to be that Peter didn't devote this crime. dealing with a sentence of loss of life by way of placing, Peter sought the interior power and backbone to outlive. while his sentence was once replaced to 40 years with out remission he got down to end up his innocence. Fifteen years later, he's ultimately a unfastened guy. this is often his tale.

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Ultimately I decided it was better to attend and try to stay unnoticed, rather than give them an excuse to focus on me. Our dog Spot was a floppy-eared mongrel, black with a white spot on his chest. He’d follow me most of the way to school and meet me on my way home. When I crossed Richmond Street he would usually turn back. But one morning he came after me and was knocked down by an army truck. I ran back to him and held him in my arms, crying my heart out. Soldiers got down from the back of the truck laughing, and I became fierce angry.

Built of grey stone, Mountjoy was a grim Victorian prison, designed like a wheel, four cell wings – A, B, C and D – radiating out from a circle and the fifth leg being administration. Each wing had four floors, called landings. I was to be held in D Wing with the other republican prisoners. The other wings held ordinary prisoners such as thieves, burglars and con men. We were brought to the prison in closed vans. It felt surreal stepping out of the van within the prison walls. I was trapped, and about to be caged, for the first time in my life.

We were up early for breakfast, and then I went with Grandad to get the pony ready for the trip. When he had been harnessed to the trap I held him while Grandad went to put on his Sunday suit. Grandmother and Aunt Mainie were all dressed up too, hats and gloves and all. The trap was a two-wheeled light cart entered through a door at the back. Seating was along each side, passengers facing inwards. Grandad sat to the front on the outside and I sat opposite him. Grandmother and Aunt Mainie sat to the back and away we went, Grandad gently clucking to the pony to start him trotting.

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