1973 – Mountjoy Prison Helicopter Escape: Three Provisional Irish Republican Army members escape from Mountjoy Prison, Dublin after a hijacked helicopter landed in the exercise yard.

Three Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers (Séamus Twomey, Chief of Staff, JB O’Hagan, Quartermaster, and Kevin Mallon, activist) escaped from Mountjoy Prison in Dublin, aboard a hijacked Alouette II helicopter. Irish prison guards were not armed. It was a brilliantly audacious escapade by the IRA and generated intense embarrassment for the government but incredible PR for the IRA. The escape resulted in all IRA prisoners being held at Mountjoy Prison and Curragh Camp being transferred to the maximum security Portlaoise Prison.

Additional Reading: Republican Editorial on Helicopter Escape

The Wolfe Tones had a unique ability to capture republican emotions in song, wrote a mighty humorous song about the escape, which was immediately banned by the government yet still topped the Irish popular music charts after selling twelve thousand copies in a single week.

Photo: The helicopter used in the spectacular escape


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