John Crotty Spike Island: The Rebels, Residents & Crafty Criminals of Ireland's Historic Island


Code 9781785374883
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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 finally 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 the 1916 generation, and 1200 Republicans during the War of Independence. More recent arrivals include the notorious crime boss The General, who terrorised 1980s’ 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.

About the Author

John Crotty hails from County Waterford and spent 11 years living in the UK, where he graduated from Swansea University. On his return, John managed Spike Island Cork, as CEO for six years, leading the island to international awards.

Under John’s stewardship, the island launched its popular After Dark tours and the first Spike Island Literary Festival. John has been featured in multiple publications and TV shows sharing the island’s story. This is his first book.

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