Jack in the box – the infamous James Grey

Of all the crafty prisoners to pass through Spike Island, there were none craftier than Manchester’s James Grey. His clever crime went unnoticed for years and he lived a fine life between Ireland and England… View Post

The child prisoners of Ireland’s Alcatraz

In addition to the incarceration of male adults at Spike Island’s 19th century prison, boys as young as twelve were not spared hard time.  The punishment of what we now call juvenile offenders was standard… View Post

The explosion of the gunship Breda – 1691

Spike Island is most famously known as Ireland’s Alcatraz, as a result of the Island housing four prisons over the four centuries. The island fortress is well known in military circles as one of the… View Post

The largest prison in the world – Spike Island prison

The opening of a Spike Island prison in 1847 was completely unexpected just six months before. The enormous island fortress that dominated its center was constructed in 1804, built to defend an Empire. It enjoyed… View Post

Spike Island’s Republican prisoners – 1921

TD’s, teachers, shirt cutters, cheese makers, farmers, dentists and more.. The Irish War of Independence raged throughout 1920, resulting in thousands of arrested Irish Republican prisoners and internees. This was more than Britain could suitably… View Post

The Gravedigger – Dubliner Joseph Dwyer

In the Victorian world of the deadly and dastardly, Joseph Dwyer’s crime stood out… Dublin of the mid-1850’s was a place of contrast. In the century beforehand, the city had developed a beautiful Georgian centre,… View Post

The world’s greatest explorer and the lost city of gold

The worlds greatest explorer found himself living on Spike Island Cork for three years

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