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Thread: Unearthing the dead on Spike Island

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    Politics.ie Member parentheses's Avatar
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    Default Unearthing the dead on Spike Island

    In the 1850s Spike Island in Cork was a huge British-run prison. It was grossly overcrowded and this seems to have led to an extraordinary death-rate among the prisoners.

    Now archaeologists are excavating the graves of the dead to discover more about the catastrophe.
    Archaeologists will attempt to locate the unmarked graves of up to 1,000 prisoners who died in a deliberately forgotten public-health catastrophe on Spike Island in Cork Harbour during the early 1850s.
    The prison authorities did not openly attempt to conceal the deaths they did publish annual reports but there are no records for 1853, the year when the highest number of prisoners, 286, died.

    Spike Island's secret: Unearthing graves of prisoners who died in deliberately forgotten public-health catastrophe | Irish Examiner
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    Very interesting place, if you ever get to Cobh, do the tour. Apparantly a British Army quartermaster was seriously on the take Sgt Bilko style and on hearing that Dublin we're sending an officer to do an audit, he burned down the store room to cover his thievery.
    A few weeks before my grandfather died, he started dipping his feet in a bucket of lard.
    He went downhill very fast after that.

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    I posted on another thread last year that while I haven't been there yet, Spike Island could become Ireland's answer to Alcatraz - one of the biggest tourist attractions in the US. Alcatraz itself is a pile of rock and concrete, albeit in a very nice location. What makes Alcatraz though are the stories you hear on the tour. And you can be sure there must be any number of stories about Spike waiting to be unearthed and maybe already done.

    Apparently, it has already been voted the best tourist attraction in Europe and is in line for "best in world" due to be judged next week. Rosita Boland has a piece about it in today's Irish Times. What caught my attention was the amount of money that might be invested in it. Talk of a a major museum and an aquarium. I think we should be very careful about making investments like that. The appeal of a place like Spike lies mostly in its history. Plonking an aquarium there would detract from that severely imo. Anyway, hope to make it there this Summer.

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    Have yet to go there, but anyone who has is high in their praise of it.

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    Politics.ie Member Boy M5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orbit v2 View Post
    I posted on another thread last year that while I haven't been there yet, Spike Island could become Ireland's answer to Alcatraz - one of the biggest tourist attractions in the US. Alcatraz itself is a pile of rock and concrete, albeit in a very nice location. What makes Alcatraz though are the stories you hear on the tour. And you can be sure there must be any number of stories about Spike waiting to be unearthed and maybe already done.

    Apparently, it has already been voted the best tourist attraction in Europe and is in line for "best in world" due to be judged next week. Rosita Boland has a piece about it in today's Irish Times. What caught my attention was the amount of money that might be invested in it. Talk of a a major museum and an aquarium. I think we should be very careful about making investments like that. The appeal of a place like Spike lies mostly in its history. Plonking an aquarium there would detract from that severely imo. Anyway, hope to make it there this Summer.
    An aquarium there is ludicrous
    "Keep firing & don't stop until I tell you" General Tom Barry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boy M5 View Post
    An aquarium there is ludicrous
    Something very fishy about that.

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    Being there, and it has great potencial. Developing it further for foreign tourists is important to make it viable.
    Only some Irish tourist would enjoy wallowing in it's misery, and there are only so many of them.

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    Few foreign tourists would be interested in an aquarium on Spike. They can visit aquariums wherever they come from. They will be more interested in its history, not just the prison, but of the military fort too. Put an aquarium on the mainland, not on Spike just because the land is there and it's cheap because the state already owns it.

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    Politics.ie Member Franzoni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corporal punishment View Post
    Very interesting place, if you ever get to Cobh, do the tour. Apparantly a British Army quartermaster was seriously on the take Sgt Bilko style and on hearing that Dublin we're sending an officer to do an audit, he burned down the store room to cover his thievery.
    Now that sounds familiar.............
    What the imagination can't conjure, reality delivers with a shrug

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