Well, we are on the Ferry to England. There was a tiny hiccup in that our Ferry to England had gone to dry dock and no one had thought to tell us…..oooooops, where was that email? Our host at the B&B help sort it out and we were put onto the Ferry going to Pembroke. Problem number 2…..train tickets on another line from another port. Mr Google to the rescue and new tickets purchased for train. Disaster averted and we will get to London sometime today…..
Our last day in Ireland was touched with sadness as we have enjoyed our time here and catching up with our friends. We took photos at all the places recommended by Colette at the hotel and headed for the harbour to go to Spike Island. Our hotel had once been Napoleon’ doctors house where Napoleon had stayed frequently. It still retains some of its grandeur. Our room+a kitchenette and sitting area!
This has been used as a prison or holding place since the 1600’s. Cromwell got rid of his dissenters and any Catholics ,he could by sending them to Barbados as slaves. He wanted to reduce the Irish population. Later governments used the Island as a prison for those awaiting transportation to America or Australia.
At one point there was 2300 prisoners on the Island. It has also been used by the English and Irish navies as a defence base because of its location to the Cork harbour, a strategic military base for supply in time of war. It’s last use as a prison was in the 1980’s. In 1985 it was a prison for joyriders. Unfortunately they were not impressed at being imprisioned and a riot broke out. Now the guards were outnumbered…..two blocks of the prison were on fire…..the guards locked the doors and left. They removed any boats from around the island. What were those prisoners to do? First destroy their records and then get out. The doors were locked so they went over the top. Down to the jetty……..mmmmmmm …..no boats, police coming. Back they went….mmmm…gate locked. A bulldozer broke the gate and back in they went. They climbed on top of the tallest building. The police simply waited till they got cold and came down. The last one, a local lad, only came down when his mum was summoned and told him “ Get down you idjit “. Only in Ireland would prisoners break into a jail. Spike Island was handed back to Ireland 8 years ago and is now in the process of being restored to show its history. See you in England or back in Australia.