Photos from Spike Island

spikeislandaerialviewSpike Island or Inis Píc, is in the centre of Cork Harbour and as such has been a very important feature in the history of not just Cork harbour itself, but Ireland. Once a monastic settlement in the 7th century,   it was a staging post for British penal transportation to the West Indies in the time of Cromwell, it is believed there are over 700 people buried there in a mass grave on the Western side of the island, who starved to death during the Genocide that has become known as ‘The Famine’. Hundreds of Republican Volunteers were kept there during the Tan War and one, Padraig de Faoite/ Paddy White a Captain in the East Clare Brigade was shot there in 1921 by a sentry while trying to retrieve a ball during a game of Hurling.   In more recent times it was used as a naval base and later a prison from 1980s the 2004, it is now a Heritage site open to the public.

Click on the images to enlarge!

Below the entrance gates to ‘Dún An Mhistealaigh’

DSC_1334The sentry walls that cover the front entrance

DSC_1252Below the John Mitchel Block, the corridor leading to the cell, the cell he was kept in and the bleak view he had from his cell.


DSC_1296DSC_1295DSC_1294Below the view cross the yard of A block, which was burned down during a Prison riot in 1985 and where Paddy White of Clare was shot dead by a sentry in 1921

DSC_1264-1The plaque to mark the spot on A block, where Paddy White was shot.

DSC_1299The plaque to Paddy, was unveiled in 1957 by TD Seán Moylan who said;

The man who we honour here today was one of those, associated from his early years with patriotic endeavor, a pioneer Volunteer, Captain of the Meelick Company of the East Clare Brigade. Here where his body fell, we of the Cork Brigade pay our tribute to his memory. His spirit has gone back to Corca Baiscin, to the Stony Hills of Clare, to become part of Clare’s tradition. That tradition that ensures that in the nations need, Clare will stand in her defense as stern as the Cliffs of Moher, as strong as the Shannon, as enduring as the sea.”

Below the massive British canon that guarded the mouth of Cork Harbour from potential ‘invaders’ , it had a range of 8 miles


DSC_1304Below some photos from the C and B blocks where prisoners in more recent times were kept until its closure as an active prison in 2004.

DSC_1314DSC_1328DSC_1316DSC_1269Below the location of Spike Island within Cork Harbour




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