An empty cell in Old Cork City Gaol BW

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Cork City Gaol is a former prison located in Cork City, Ireland.

In 1806 an Act of Parliament was passed to allow the building of a new Cork City Gaol to replace the old Gaol at the Northgate Bridge (the old Gaol which was nearly 100 years was on a confined site and was overcrowded & unhygienic).

A site on Sunday’s Well was eventually chosen, its altitude being seen as an advantage for containing “Gaol fever” (typhus). The site, its approach roads and perimeters was commenced in 1816 and the building of the prison proper started in 1818. The building was designed by William Robertson of Kilkenny and built by the Deane family.

The new Cork City Gaol opened in 1824 & was reported as being “the finest in 3 kingdoms”. In 1870 the west wing was remodelled into a double sided cell wing.

When the prison opened in the 1820s it housed both male and female prisoners, whose crimes were committed within the city boundary. Anyone committing a crime outside that boundary were committed to the County Gaol, across the river from the City Gaol near University College Cork. The Fenian Brian Dillon was remanded at Cork City Gaol when he was arrested in September 1865.

The 1878 General Prisons Act reorganised the prisons in Cork. The Cork City Gaol became a Women’s Gaol (for Cork City and Cork County) and the Cork County Gaol near UCC became the men’s gaol (for Cork City and Cork County). On the day the change came into effect male prisoners were marched out of the Sunday’s Well Prison and over to the Western Road Gaol, while the women were marched in the opposite direction.

Nineteenth Century.
Many of the prisoners in the late 19th Century were repeat offenders locked up for what would not today be imprisonable offences; for example, a woman named Mary Tucker from Rathmore in County Cork was imprisoned at least three times between 1849 and 1908, sometimes for offences such as ‘Obscene Language’ or ‘Drunkenness’.

Twentieth Century.
During the Irish War of Independence Republican women prisoners were imprisoned in the Gaol. In October 1919, Constance Markievicz, the first woman to be elected to the British Parliament, was imprisoned at Cork Gaol for making a seditious speech. In January 1919, another member of Cumann na mBan, Mary Bowles, was imprisoned for arms offences. Later that month a Republican prisoner named Dolly Burke escaped from the prison.

In 1922 and 1923, the prison was opened to male and female Republican (anti-treaty) prisoners of the Irish Civil War. One of those imprisoned at the time was the writer Frank O’Connor.

A spectacular escape was made from the Gaol in November 1923. The escapees were high-value prisoners who had been sent to the Gaol as it was “the safest place to hold them”.

The Gaol closed in August 1923 with all remaining prisoners either released or transferred to other prisons.

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Alcatraz Island Lighthouse

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Alcatraz Island Lighthouse. San Francisco, California. 1909.

Alcatraz Island proved to be a huge obstacle in the busy shipping channel of San Francisco Bay. So much so, that the U.S. Government allocated money to construct a lighthouse on the island. The first tower was constructed in 1852, but the third-order Fresnel lens wouldn’t arrive until 1854. This made it the first lighthouse to be built on the West Coast. This tower would serve until 1906 when it was damaged beyond repair in the 1906 earthquake.

A new tower design was put forth after the earthquake. The new tower would be made out of reinforced concrete and would stand 84′ tall. This would be tall enough to tower above the military prison that was built on the island. In 1934, the military prison was upgraded to a maximum security federal penitentiary. Even though the lighthouse keeper was on the outside of the prison walls, they weren’t entirely safe. A riot broke out in 1946 in which many guards and inmates were killed, however, the lighthouse keepers were fine. The station was automated in 1963 right around the same time as the prison closed.

The tower is still an active aid to navigation and can be spotted from almost any point around San Francisco, Oakland, and the Marin Headlands. The tower is all that remains of the old station. The lighthouse keeper’s dwelling was destroyed by fire in 1969 by Native American protesters.

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A cell in Alcatraz prison

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

The federal prison on Alcatraz Island in the chilly waters of California’s San Francisco Bay housed some of America’s most difficult and dangerous felons during its years of operation from 1934 to 1963. Among those who served time at the maximum-security facility were the notorious gangster Al “Scarface” Capone (1899-1947) and murderer Robert “Birdman of Alcatraz” Stroud (1890-1963). No inmate ever successfully escaped The Rock, as the prison was nicknamed, although more than a dozen known attempts were made over the years. After the prison was shut down due to high operating costs, the island was occupied for almost two years, starting in 1969, by a group of Native-American activists. Today, historic Alcatraz Island, which was also the site of a U.S. military prison from the late 1850s to 1933, is a popular tourist destination.

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A Cell In La Conciergerie De Paris

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

Photo chosen by ‘Enda Markey Presents  to use as part of the scenic design for the Asia Pacific tour of the production “Do You Hear The People Sing?”, a concert celebrating the work of Boublil & Schönberg (the creators of Les Misérables, Miss Saigon and others).

© RicardMN Photography

Poster ‘Do You Hear The People Sing?’ in Shanghai Grand Theatre. 27 November – 1 December 2013

This image is for the song called ‘Au Petit Matin’ and it’s from Boublil & Schonberg’s first musical, “La Révolution Française” (which preceded “Les Misérables”) and is sung in the original musical by Marie Antoinette as she was imprisoned at La Conciergerie de Paris.

Marie Zamora singing 'Au Petit Matin'

Marie Zamora singing ‘Au Petit Matin’ in “Do You Hear The People Sing” Concert in Shanghai Grand Theatre 11/27/2013. Image on the background by RicardMN Photography

– The first show was in Shanghai Grand Theatre, China, from 27 November to 1 December 2013, starring Michael Ball, Lea Salonga, David Harris, Amanda Harrison and Marie Zamora.  Featuring the Shanghai Opera Orchestra and Choir.

– Special performance of “Do You Hear The People Sing?” at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Manila on 29 & 30 January, headlined by Lea Salonga, David Harris and Marie Zamora, in support of the Yolanda Rebuilding Progam. These concerts raised AU$600,000 to assist with the rebuilding of 200 homes devastated by Typhoon Yolanda through Habitat for Humanity Philippines, through ‘Habitat for Humanity Philippines‘.

– 29 March 2014 the show is in the TICC (Taipei International Convention Center), Taipei, Taiwan, starring Michael Ball, David Harris, Amanda Harrison, Ana Marina and Jennifer Paz.

– Several other dates around Asia, Australia and New Zealand are currently in development.

La Conciergerie is a former royal palace and prison in Paris, France, located on the west of the Ile de la Cite (literally island of the city), near the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. It is part of the larger complex known as the Palais de Justice, which is still used for judicial purposes. Hundreds of prisoners during the French Revolution were taken from La Conciergerie to be executed on the guillotine at a number of locations around Paris.

© RicardMN Photography

Poster ‘Do You Hear The People Sing?’ in Newport Performing Arts Theatre, Manila, 29/30 January 2014

The Conciergerie prison, also known as the “antechamber to the guillotine”, became the central penitentiary of a network of prisons throughout Paris, and was the final stop of over 2,700 people who were summarily executed by guillotine. The dank dungeons were a stark contrast to the beautiful architecture of the palace above. The quality of life of the prisoners was based mainly on their personal wealth, and the whims of the jailers who watched over them.

The revolutionary period continued the prison’s tradition of interning prisoners based on wealth, where the wealthier prisoners could rent a bed for 27 livres 12 sous for the first month, then down to 22 livres 10 sous for the subsequent months. Even when the price was lowered to 15 livres, the commanders of the prison made a fortune: as the Terror escalated, a prisoner could pay for a bed and be executed a few days later, opening the bed for a new inmate who would pay in turn. One memoirist called the Conciergerie “the most lucrative furnished lodgings in Paris”. Only celebrity prisoners got cells to themselves. Most of the pistole inmates were stuffed into a single room which abutted a local hospital, making disease an inevitability. The cramped cells were infested with rats, and the stench of urine permeated every room.

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Guard room in La Conciergerie de Paris

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

La Conciergerie is a former royal palace and prison in Paris, France, located on the west of the Île de la Cité (literally island of the city), near the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. It is part of the larger complex known as the Palais de Justice, which is still used for judicial purposes. Hundreds of prisoners during the French Revolution were taken from La Conciergerie to be executed on the guillotine at a number of locations around Paris.

The Conciergerie prison, also known as the “antechamber to the guillotine”, became the central penitentiary of a network of prisons throughout Paris, and was the final stop of over 2,700 people who were summarily executed by guillotine. The dank dungeons were a stark contrast to the beautiful architecture of the palace above. The quality of life of the prisoners was based mainly on their personal wealth, and the whims of the jailers who watched over them. The revolutionary period continued the prison’s tradition of interning prisoners based on wealth, where the wealthier prisoners could rent a bed for 27 livres 12 sous for the first month, then down to 22 livres 10 sous for the subsequent months. Even when the price was lowered to 15 livres, the commanders of the prison made a fortune: as the Terror escalated, a prisoner could pay for a bed and be executed a few days later, opening the bed for a new inmate who would pay in turn. One memoirist called the Conciergerie “the most lucrative furnished lodgings in Paris”. Only celebrity prisoners got cells to themselves. Most of the pistole inmates were stuffed into a single room which abutted a local hospital, making disease an inevitability. The cramped cells were infested with rats, and the stench of urine permeated every room.

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A cell in Alcatraz Prison

© RicardMN Photography

© RicardMN Photography

The federal prison on Alcatraz Island in the chilly waters of California’s San Francisco Bay housed some of America’s most difficult and dangerous felons during its years of operation from 1934 to 1963. Among those who served time at the maximum-security facility were the notorious gangster Al “Scarface” Capone (1899-1947) and murderer Robert “Birdman of Alcatraz” Stroud (1890-1963). No inmate ever successfully escaped The Rock, as the prison was nicknamed, although more than a dozen known attempts were made over the years. After the prison was shut down due to high operating costs, the island was occupied for almost two years, starting in 1969, by a group of Native-American activists. Today, historic Alcatraz Island, which was also the site of a U.S. military prison from the late 1850s to 1933, is a popular tourist destination.

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