Cork Local Studies Digital Archive

The Spike Island Ledger from 1921.

Dublin Core


The Spike Island Ledger from 1921.


War of Independence, 1921; Cork History; Spike Island


The ledger lists the names of IRA Volunteers interned during the months of April and May 1921. Thomas Griffin acted as the Canteen Staff Officer for the internees.


Compiled by Thomas Griffin, an IRA prisoner at the camp.


April and May 1921


Reproduction rights reserved


ledger book



Collection Items


    The Spike Island Ledger was kindly donated to the Local Studies Library in 2001 by Michael Griffin. His uncle, Thomas Griffin, compiled the ledger while interned on Spike Island in 1921. He was an active member of the Ballynoe Company IRA Volunteers and was sent to Spike following his arrest in January 1921. He remained there until the end of 1921. The ledger itself lists the names of IRA Volunteers interned during the months of April and May. It is not known why the ledger was only used during these two months; it is possible other ledgers might have been used but were subsequently lost. Thomas Griffin acted as the canteen Staff Officer for the internees and in this role was responsible for looking after the internees’ money.

    Some 900 internees were held on the island from February to December 1921, three times the number of prisoners, though not all are listed in the ledger. Some of the internees listed include Dick Barrett, one of six who managed to successfully escape in November 1921. Another is James ‘Tough’ Barry, who subsequently managed the Cork hurling team to All Ireland success. Unfortunately, not all survived their time on the island. Patrick White from Meelick, Co Clare, was shot by a sentry and died later of his wounds. Daniel Clancy, from Kanturk, was injured because of British Army fire and subsequently died in the Cork Military Hospital in Victoria Barracks.