John Patrick Leonard – Our man in Paris

At a time when Spike Island was being carved up and commandeered for the defence of the British Empire, a curious thing happened.  A child was born on this tiny island in the early 19th… View Post

Ireland’s greatest prison escapologist

Prison escapes have long fascinated us, with incredibly popular movies like the Shawshank redemption and Escape from Alcatraz proving enduring hits. The art of escapology is such an attraction that magicians and illusionists have built… View Post

Escape from Spike Island – April 1921

Spike Island opened as a prison for Irish Republican prisoners and internees in February 1921, while the Irish War of Independence raged and British Authorities was arresting more rebels than they could easily incarcerate. The… View Post

Fort Mitchel, Spike Island– making a military monster

The history of the largest military structure in Ireland… The first fortification on Spike Island arrived in 1779 while the American War of Independence raged.  American vessels were capable of crossing the Atlantic and wreaking… View Post

The Moon Car – the first and only assault on the British Garrison at Spike Island

The Moon car and its association with Spike Island came after the turmoil of the Irish War of Independence. Ireland secured its freedom in a hard fought battle with Britain, but a bloody Civil War… View Post

The 1938 Spike Island handover from a reluctant Britain to Ireland.

Ireland won a hard fought freedom in 1921, as Britain was brought to the negotiating table after a bloody war of Independence demonstrated a centuries old national desire for freedom. But Spike Island, which had… View Post

The first prison on Ireland’s Alcatraz? Oliver Cromwell in Ireland and Spike Island Cork.

The name Oliver Cromwell impacts an Irish ear with a forceful thud.  In a nation full of easy going individuals, there are few quicker ways to set pulses racing than to mention his name. If… View Post