Yesterday the Friends of Sligo Gaol organised a seminar about Sligo Gaol and the life of Sligo women in 1916. I am fascinated by Sligo Gaol so I jumped at the chance to get back inside to have another look. I went along in 2013 and took a wealth of photos, sadly the hard drive they were on died and the website I had them uploaded to is no longer working. So I’m left with about four images, which I’m totally gutted about. I was hoping I might raise the most money in the Jail and Bail event and I would have won a tour of the gaol but it wasn’t to be. Anyway I did get to take some photos yesterday in our brief tour.
The first part of the day was held in the Riverside Hotel, Sligo. Historian Gary Burke had researched the female prisoners that were held in Sligo Gaol in 1916. He told us about some of them and the crimes they committed (which you can see above).
Next to speak was Liz Gillis, author of “Women of the Irish Revolution 1913-23″. Liz discussed the role that women from all over the country played in the Irish Revolution. She was fascinating to listen to, totally passionate and knowledgeable about her subject and had the whole audiences attention.
There was a short break for tea, coffee and scones and thanks to Valerie for inviting me to join her and her friends, as I must admit I was feeling like a ‘Billy no mates’. After the break we got to hear from a panel including heritage officer Siobhan Ryan who told us more about life inside the prison.
After lunch our group headed out for our tour of the gaol. We had Lara as our guide and it was really interesting to hear her tell us about the various cells.
What really added to the whole experience were the Bua ladies choir, who were singing just as we went into the jail. If I’d have known it was going to happen I would have been ready with the camera but it took me by surprise, I did get a bit of video though.
I really enjoyed our tour. I would have loved longer as there were some cells I didn’t get in to see as the tour group was quite big…and the cells, of course, are small.
I loved looking at the markings on the cell walls and what strikes me most are the images that come through the layers of paint. I saw several faces and I was pleased to see the face in the double cell is still as visible as it was three years ago.