Ireland Trip Part 2
dinner at crumlin Road Jail
June 10, 2014
The Crumlin Road Gaol opened in 1846 and closed in 1996. It was designed by renowned architect Charles Lanyon. 25,000 people were imprisoned there including Eamon De Valera, Ian Paisley, Martin McGuinness, Michael Stone and Bobby Sands. Children were also imprisoned for a week or a month often for stealing.
17 executions were conducted in the goal and executioners were always hired from outside Ireland.
There were escapes by prisoners in 1971.
This was were the prisoners were lead, in chains, to undress and receive a bath. All their possessions were stored in the bags hanging above.
There is an underground tunnel underneath Crumhill road to the courthouse where the prisoner travelled for hearings. The expression "take him down" came from this journey.
The jail was designed with four wings of cells which all joined a room called the Control Area.
The crank was a form of punishment in which the prisoner had to achieve a certain amount of revolutions per hour.
Scenes of prison life over the ages.
Occasionally, double cells were used for education. Here prisoners took art lessons and decorated the walls.
In the 1970's and 80's conditions were very crowded. Up to four prisoners were held in a cell. There was no sanitation. 1400 prisoners were held in a jail that was built to accomodate 500.
The prisoner to be executed was served his last meal in a room directly infront of the execution room behind hidden doors. This was to prevent the prisoner from getting too restless if he thought he still had a long way to go to the execution room.