Sunday 22 September 2019

Independence exhibition opens on Spike Island

Situated in the heart of Cork Harbour, Spike Island has been open to the public for less than a decade and in that time it has become one of the top tourist destinations in Europe.

Indeed in 2017 it won the prestigious award of Europe's Top Tourism Destination.

On Spike Island there is so much to see and do and a new exhibition entitled Independence has just been launched by the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Christopher O'Sullivan

The exhibition tells the story of the Irish road to freedom and the 1,400 Irish freedom fighters held on Spike Island in 1921.  

Families of the men held on the island were present for the exhibition launch which was the result of five-years of research led by the islands assistant manager, and resident historian, Tom O'Neill with the support of the team at Spike Island.

'Independence' begins in 1914, during the outbreak of World War I and details how Ireland sought to take advantage of British distraction and the failed Rising in 1916.  

The exhibition includes original footage and artefacts made by the men who stayed on the island, including autograph books and diaries.

There is also a genealogy section that allows visitors to search for the details of the 1,400 men held there.

Speaking of 'Independence', Mayor O'Sullivan highlighted the importance of such an exhibition at this time.

"The 'Independence' exhibition will reawaken the courage and valour of these men who were so passionate that they put their lives on the line to achieve Irish freedom.  These are the men that fought, died and eventually freed Ireland and it is important that this story is told. I would encourage everyone to make their way to Spike Island and see this exhibition for themselves," he said.

The Exhibition is one of several now on offer to visitors to Spike Island, with boats departing daily from Cobh. 

For further information including booking details visit