The imposing gatehouse of Nenagh's old gaol. Photograph: Odhran Ducie

Nenagh Gaol: History and Heritage

A 20-PAGE supplement on the history of Nenagh's old gaol and use of the site after its closure will be included in next week's Nenagh Guardian.

Built after the division of Tipperary into two Ridings, Nenagh gaol was in operation from 1842 until 1883. A myriad of intriguing events occurred at the site in that time, a rich selection of which are illustrated in the Nenagh Gaol: History & Heritage supplement.

Among its pages are the 17 executions that took place at the gaol, including of course the most famous of them all, that of the hanging of the Cormack Brothers in 1858.

But the reader will also learn about fascinating yet less well known events, such as the fatal shooting of one turnkey by another; the daring escape of one prisoner, who was to be transported to Van Diemen's Land, and the incarceration of such notable prisoners as James Fintan Lalor, Dr Charles Langley and Brigadier-General John H Gleeson at Nenagh gaol.

Discover too the social history of this turbulent time, from the types of crime committed to the different classes of prisoners - including women prisoners - and their treatment at the gaol.

The supplement also looks at how the old gaol found new life at the turn of the century, with the premises acquired by the Sisters of Mercy and transformed into a site of education with the two schools that continue to thrive there now. The establishment of Nenagh Heritage Centre and North Tipperary Genealogy Centre at the site is also featured, as is a look at the more recent conservation works carried out at the last surviving cell block, which is to serve a future purpose as a unique visitor attraction.

Researched, written and edited by local historian Danny Grace and Simon O'Duffy of the Nenagh Guardian - and drawing from a wide range of local sources and illustrations - this supplement has been produced in association with Tipperary Co Council as part of the Nenagh 800 series of events celebrating the history of the town.

Don't miss this week's Guardian for your free copy!  


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