The Maze Prison escape (known to Irish republicans as the Great Escape) took place on 25 September 1983 in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. HM Prison Maze (also known as Long Kesh) was a maximum security prison thought to be one of the most escape-proof prisons in Europe.
It held prisoners convicted of taking part in paramilitary campaigns during the Troubles. In the biggest prison escape in the history of the United Kingdom, 38 Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners escaped from H-Block 7 (H7) of the prison. A prison officer died of a heart attack during the escape and twenty others were injured, including two who were shot with guns that had been smuggled into the prison.
The escape gained publicity for the IRA. The official inquiry into the escape placed most of the blame onto prison staff.