VIDEO: Cork’s Alcatraz (Spike Island) takes step closer to becoming major tourist attraction

31 July 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth

Construction work will start in August on a €5million development of Spike Island. Cork County Council has awarded the contract for the works to Cumnor Construction Ltd., and the project is due for completion in June 2016.

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Spike Island occupies a key location in lower Cork Harbour, the multi-cultural island has hosted a monastery, a fortress and a prison within its 104 acres, all of which have left their mark. The council is now developing the island as a vehicle for retelling the story of 1400 years of history and the Irish diaspora.

Cork County Council is currently embarking on the development of Spike Island as a unique cultural heritage and activity destination, offering a compelling, high quality, rich and diverse set of experiences for all visitors. It is hoped that the development of Spike Island as a visitor attraction will help build on the existing tourism and heritage infrastructure in Cork Harbour.

Horgan Lynch have been appointed Consultant Engineers for the construction stage of the project and Vidar Media Group has won the Interpretative Design contract. A 100% Council owned company, Spike Island Development Company, has been established and Mr. Declan Daly, Divisional Manager South Cork County Council and Mr. David Keane, Cork County Engineer, appointed directors to implement the constructional phase and oversee the day to day operation of Spike Island Interpretative Centre.

Cork County Council and Fáilte Ireland have co-funded this initial development which will include the upgrading and interpretation of specific buildings, access to the Bastions, landscaping works, a new Gun Park, infrastructural works together with improving the access to the Island.

There is a regular ferry service from Cobh to Spike Island and visitors can avail of a guided tour or can explore the island at their own pace and view what the island has to offer. Information for visitors and details of the construction works can be found on the Spike Island website

Check out this 5 part documentary on Spike Island Excavations

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