Sing Sing

10. A Place for Prisoners

Knockraha’s strategic importance made it an ideal location for a prison. A crypt in Kilquane Cemetery was used for that purpose. Kilquane is an early monastic site dating from the 6th century believed to be built by St. Quane. A later church was built on this site and it was listed in the Ancient Deanery of O’Curb Lethan of the Lehanes (Chieftan’s of this area) in 1303. The crypt is believed to have survived from one of these later churches. This monastic site is accessed by way of an ancient processional avenue.

The prison was nicknamed ‘Sing Sing’ after the infamous New York prison. Initially, ‘Sing Sing’ held individuals who had been arrested by Sinn Fein for civil misdemeanours. These cases were heard in the Old School House in Knockraha.

It became Cork No.1 Brigade official prison from mid 1920 after most of the rural RIC barracks had been put out of commission. From then on, it held military prisoners relating to the War of Independence conflict and stayed in use until the date of the truce on 11th July 1921.