A monastic outpost in the Celtic Sea, a fortress built to defend an Empire, a prison established to intern a nation; Spike Island’s remarkable 1300-year history far exceeds its modest acreage. No other place better encapsulates the Irish story.
Spike Island tells of religious fervour, frequent rebellion, social endeavour, and a nation’s unextinguishable yearning for freedom. After 206 years off-limits to the public, its secrets can fnally be divulged. The island has garnered international attention many times, such as the famine-era prison overcrowding and inhumane conditions, the triumphant 1938 handover of the island from Britain to Ireland, and the violent prison riot in 1985.
Spike Island echoes with the voices of prisoners past, having housed fIerce rebels like John Mitchel, who would inspire the1916 generation, and 1200 Republicans during the War of Independence. More recent arrivals include the notorious crimeboss The General, who terrorized 1980’s Ireland.
Told in an entertaining and accessible chronological style featuring accounts from island dwellers and the interned alike, this book is sure to captivate anyone interested in Irish history.
|Irish Academic Press
|14 Mar 2024