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Cork City Gaol

  • Gala Dinner Capacity : 200

Cork City Gaol is located 2km from Patrick’s Street and while the magnificent castle like building is now a major and unique visitor attraction, this Gaol once housed 19th century prisoners. Visitors get a fascinating insight into day to day prison life at a time when the high walls ensured no escape and denied law abiding citizens the opportunity to see one of the finest examples of Ireland’s architectural heritage. At the same location and uniquely situated in the former Governors house, is the radio museum experience incorporating the restored 6CK Radio Broadcasting Studio.

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.

The top floor of the Governors house was used as a radio broadcasting station by the national radio station- Radio Eireann (now RTE) from 1927 until the 1950’s. From 1923 to 1993, apart from the foregoing, and some storage use of the exterior grounds by the Dept, Posts & Telegraphs, The Gaol complex was allowed to become totally derelict until its innovative restoration and reopening to the public as a visitor attraction and unique gala dinner venue in 1993.

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