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Cork City Goal

Brief History of Cork City Gaol: (Opened 1824, Closed 1923)

The Cork City Gaol in Sunday’s Well, was designed to replace the old Gaol at the Northgate Bridge in the heart of the city. The old gaol was nearly 100 yrs. old, on a confined site, overcrowded & unhygienic.

In 1806 an Act of Parliament was passed and monies  levied locally to allow the building of a new City Gaol.
The first site chosen was at Distillery Fields – an area prone to frequent flooding!!
This fact and enlightened thinking that hilly, airy sites were best for containing gaol fever probably influenced the change to the present site

In 1816 red sandstone was quarried from the hill, approach roads constructed, and outside security walls built.
By 1818 planning of the interior building could commence and Mrs. Deane, and her son, Thomas, won the building contract.
John Hogan, later to become Ireland’s greatest neo-classical sculptor, developed sketch drawings from the plans of architect, William Robertson of Kilkenny.

The new Cork City Gaol opened in 1824 & was reported as being “the finest in 3 Kingdoms”.

In 1870 the west wing was remodelled into a double-sided cell wing & in 1878 under the General Prisons (Ireland) Act,
the Gaol became an all-female prison which it remained until male anti-treaty supporters were incarcerated in 1922/1923

The Gaol closed in August 1923, with all remaining prisoners either
released or transferred to other gaols



Convent Avenue, Sunday’s Well, Cork City, Ireland.
Tel: 021-4305022;
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