By Nuala McCann
BBC News Website
Plans to turn a Belfast courthouse into a luxury hotel have resurrected old ghosts for local politicians.
They had the pleasure of Crumlin Road courthouse and prison in the days when porridge was more than a tick box choice on the breakfast menu.
In the old "Crum" of 30 years ago, you could check in any time you liked ... but you could never leave.
Crumlin Road courthouse will become a luxury hotel
Having sampled Her Majesty's Pleasure in the court and adjoining jail, would Progressive Unionist David Ervine or Sinn Fein's Martin Meehan revisit when the prison turns into a planned multi-million pound luxury hotel?
Thousands of republicans and loyalists were tried in the courthouse during the Troubles.
Some turned their backs on violence and tried politics.
Among them was Mr Ervine, now PUP leader and a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
He was convicted in his early 20s, when he was stopped by the security forces in a car containing a bomb. He was released from jail in 1980.
Would he return to sample the delights of the court house turned hotel?
"Would you like me to say it was my second home?" he asked.
"If you got a nice three course meal, I might try it," he added, "Provided, of course, I'm allowed to leave unescorted."
David Ervine said it was a dark part of the Crumlin Road
He said property developer Barry Gilligan who bought the building for £1, should ensure that the community had a say in the development of the 160-room hotel.
"I wish him well with the work. But if you get it for £1, that means it was ours and was clearly seen as a liability.
"It is a dark part of the Crumlin Road and an isolated part of the Crumlin Road. I would like him to talk to the community there ... I would like jobs for that community."
Martin Meehan, Sinn Fein, should know his way about the building - over the last 30 years, he has had five High Court trials there.
He could check into the new hotel, but they might not trust him with the bed sheets.
In December 1971, he escaped from the jail after spending six and a half hours down a manhole covered in butter to keep out the cold.
He used his bed sheets to scale the wall. Would he check into the planned hotel?
"I would book into the wedding suite, lie there and reminisce," he said.
Martin Meehan was on trial five times at the court house
"Those were very sad times too, although there were some happy times. But politics is the way forward. There were no winners, everybody was losers - the community and the different groups of combatants."
The development of the building will cost £25m, create 200 full-time and part-time jobs and 300 jobs during construction.
Many of the listed building's original features will be kept including the two main courtrooms and an underground passage connecting the building to the former prison across the road.
The owner hopes the new hotel will open by March 2009.
The courthouse, designed by architect and one-time Lord Mayor of Belfast Sir Charles Lanyon, was completed in 1850 at a cost of £16,500.
Mountaineer and architect Dawson Stelfox has been engaged to design it.