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New additions at Spike Island

Wednesday, 5th June, 2019 4:47pm

Inspired to explore all things coastal after Seafest? Get yourself down to Spike Island and soak in the history and beautiful scenery of Cobh.

Spike Island Cork is all set for the new season with a second larger ferry added to the fleet. The 126 seater vessel was secured from the south of France and is being renamed the ‘Spike Island’ in honour of its route. The island will continue to run the other 80 seater ferry so that visitors have more flexibility in when they visit and how long they stay.

With a cafe on site, new attractions and the recently opened 2.4km Ring of Spike walking trail with stunning harbour views, visitors are expected to stay longer on the island this summer.

The Ring of Spike walking trail allows visitors to see beautiful Cobh on one side, and the view to historic Cork Harbour on the other. The other forts at the mouth of the harbour can be seen as can the departure point for the Titanic.

Other new additions include the Independence exhibition, a major upgrade to the attraction’s former church Mitchel Hall that tells the story of the 1,400 Irish men held on the island in 1921 during the War of Independence. This exhibition explores the road leading up to the war featuring original artefacts from the Aud, a gun running ship which tried to aid the Easter Rising of 1916. And there are original artefacts and autograph books from the men held on the island.

Visitors can also stand trial as one of the men accused of treason to the crown, and be sentenced to Spike Island Prison. Other areas in the museum include the Irish Army, Navy and Air Corps rooms, detailing the work of the defence forces since their formation.

The Cork County Council-owned site also expects to add a wheelchair accessible pontoon at Kennedy Pier in Cobh this month to increase ease of access for visitors, and a new ticket office is proposed for the pier before the end of the summer.

Island manager John Crotty said they are excited to welcome visitors to see the new additions.

“This year marks the end of a two year journey to add the second ferry, walking trails, the Independence exhibition and easier access from Cobh with the new pontoon and ticket office. We are looking forward to welcoming to welcoming new visitors and to showcasing the upgrades to returning visitors, and allowing them stay as long as they like.

“Our international visitor numbers more than doubled to 20 per cent of our overall visitors in 2018, and we hope to see that trend continue in 2019 as we give them a warm, professional and lasting impression of Ireland and our history.” Boats to the island depart daily from Kennedy pier, Cobh. For more information and to book tickets visit spikeislandcork.ie.

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