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

Talking Spike Island with Oliver Callan

Listen in to a chat about all things regarding Spike Island history with Oliver Callan from May 2024… Click here – 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

Hunger strikes, prison riot & the suspected murder of Daniel Clancy – The Irish Republican unrest on Spike Island,1921

Spike Island started 1921 as a British Military base, a function it had occupied since 1779. Built to defend the important Cork Harbour from Napoleonic attack, the fort was converted into a prison in 1847,… View Post

The boy they made a murderer – Edmond Power

Spike Island went from sleepy military outpost to epic island prison in October 1847, while the Irish famine raged. An explosion in convictions led to more prisoners than the jail or transportation system could handle. … View Post

Spike Island Riot! The night Ireland’s Alcatraz burned

Spike Island opened as a prison for the fourth time in 400 years in 1985, following its use as a Republican prison in 1921, the largest prison in the world in the mid-1800’s and a… View Post

The history of Spike Island – RTE’s Tubridy show with Oliver Callan

Spike Island becomes a much discussed destination in the Irish summertime, as locals and visitors look for memorable things to do. I was fortunate to discuss Spike Island history with the always hilarious Oliver Callan,… View Post