Spike Island – Present day

The island where Ireland remembers

Spike Island was used as a monastic outpost for centuries, and as a place of military and prison endeavour from 1779 to 2004.  The island was handed to Cork County Council in 2010 who invested signifcantly in 2016 and reopened the present island offering.

Visitors today can explore the 104 acre island, with the 80 acres outside the fort covered by pretty walking trails that reveal scenic forrest, open grassland areas and lots of nature and wildlife.  You can see the original houses of the island village, some dating to the late 1700’s, and visit the convict cemetery.  There are also pretty beaches to hear the waves lap the shore.

On top of the inner island is the 24 acre Fort Mitchel, which still stands tall over 220 years after construction began.  Within its walls you can see over a dozen authorize buildings and experience their museums.  These range from original 19th century prison cells, to artillery gun parks, museums on Irish independence, exhibitions on Irish social life, and so much more.  There are stories of people and places, and 1300 years of Irish history, to ensure something for everyone

You will also find a 100 seater cafe, two gifts shops and lots of toilet facilities on the island, to ensure a comfortable visit for all ages

Ireland's historic island

Today the island is operated by a not for profit company under the direction of owners Cork County Council, with the sole aims of;

  • Sensitively and creatively telling the islands rich, 1300 years history to as wide an audience as possible.
  • Restoring as many of the island buildings as possible (presently about 75% of the forts buildings are complete)
  • Growing visitors to create as many employment opportunities on the island.
  • Increasing visits and job opportunities in the wider Cork Harbour area.

We thank you sincerely for taking the time to learn about our history, and supporting island efforts to preserve, maintain and reclaim the islands history for future generations.