Peter Turner

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 05 May 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1088

General practitioner and prison doctor who worked at the Maze at the height of the Troubles

Peter Turner was the senior medical officer at the Maze Prison in Belfast at the height of the Troubles. He arrived there from general practice in the Shankill Road, Belfast, and was immediately reacquainted with several of his former patients. He was taken hostage by several of them of different political persuasions on several occasions, always with the refrain: “Sorry, Doc, we've got to tie you up.” He never came to any harm, nor did his assailants generally get very far, such as in the failed mass breakout of 1976, in which he was restrained with a combination of sheets and bandages.

He was with the prison service during the burning down of the Maze on 16 October 1974, when he attended to the injuries of prisoners and prison staff alike, and the distressing years of the “Dirty Protest,” which culminated in the death of the hunger striker Bobby Sands …

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