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

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

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

The pirates and smugglers of Spike Island Cork

Pirates have been carrying out their murderous activity ever since the first trade vessels took to the seas, so it is little wonder there would be a case of Spike Island pirates. The first documented… 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