Cork City Gaol

Cork City Gaol information

Cork City , Ireland
Convent Ave
+353 21 430 5022
More information
adult/child €8/5
Opening hours
9.30am-5pm Apr-Sep, 10am-4pm Oct-Mar
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This imposing former prison is well worth a visit, if only to get a sense of how awful life was for prisoners a century ago. An audio tour guides you around the restored cells, which feature models of suffering prisoners and sadistic-looking guards. Take a bus to UCC – from there walk north along Mardyke Walk, cross the river and follow the signs uphill (10 minutes).

The tour is very moving, bringing home the harshness of the 19th-century penal system. The most common crime was that of poverty; many of the inmates were sentenced to hard labour for stealing loaves of bread. Atmospheric night tours take place on Thursdays at 7pm (€10).

The prison closed in 1923, reopening in 1927 as a radio station which operated until the 1950s. The Governor's House has been converted into a Radio Museum where, alongside collections of beautiful old radios, you can hear the story of Guglielmo Marconi's conquest of the airwaves.