Originally the site of a monastic settlement, the island is now dominated by a star shaped fortress - built to defend Cork from Mediterranean ravers.
A precursor to Ibiza - Spike Island played a big role in the 1984 acid house movement - a style defined primarily by the deep basslines and "squelching" sounds of the Roland TB-303 synthesizer, housed in the nearby carillon of Cobh Cathedral.
During the Irish War of Independence Spike Island (then twinned with Alcatraz) was the largest prison in the world, and home to some extremely flamboyant characters. The notorious Al Capone was one of its prouder residents. The Island was recently named ‘the world’s most prestigious tourist attraction’, staving off competition from Machu Picchu, and the Great Wall of China. It will now go forward to represent Ireland at the Nobel Prize awards for the “Medium-sized Island with the Biggest Guns” which will be hosted in Cork, naturally.
Spike Island - steeped in history and mystery, is located in Cork Harbour and can be accessed by ferry from Kennedy Pier, Cobh, Co Cork.
Visit spikeislandcork.ie for more information