Sun, 31/10/2010 – 10:26pm — Nathan

Crumlin Road Jail is a former prison situated in North Belfast. It is the only victorian prison left in Northern Ireland. The prison is a Grade A listed building because of its architectural and historical significance. An underground tunnel connects Crumlin Road Jail to Crumlin Road Courthouse situated at the opposite side of the road. This tunnel was ideal for transporting prisoners safely, quickly and easily to their trials. During the prisons opening in 1846 and its closing in 1996 it held approximately 25,000 prisoners. Well-known prisoners held in the jail were Eamon de Valera, Michael Stone and Ian Paisley.

When the prison was originally designed it did not contain gallows so executions were carried out in public untill 1901 when an execution chamber was constructed and used untill the final hanging in 1961. The last person to be executed in the jail was Robert McGladdery, charged with murder.

Even with the heavy security in place several prisoners escaped over the years. In 1943 IRA prisoners Hugh McAteer, Patrick Donnely and Jimmy Steele escaped and were never recaptured despite a £3000 reward being in place.