Informers Corridor, Kilmainham Jail.

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Where: Kilmainham Square, Inchicore Rd, Inchicore, Dublin 8, Ireland

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: 01 January 1890

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
From the sunny carefree Bicycle Gymkhana of yesterday to the corridor of fear and shame in Kilmainham Gaol.

This corridor must have housed desperate men who bore the most despised tag in Irish Nationalist society - "Informer"! It would be interesting to discover who was locked up there.

While we have confirmation that this image was taken before 1896 (thanks to the contributors below), we found little about the "Informers Corridor". Though, as we know noted Invincibles' informer James Carey was kept at Kilmainham prior to removal to England, it seems likely he or others like him were housed in these cells....


Photographer: Thomas H. Mason

Collection: Mason Photographic Collection

Date: ca. 1890-1910 (but <=1896 as appears in book published that year)

NLI Ref: M26/15

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 13652
thomasholmesmason thomasmayne thomashmasonsonslimited lanternslides nationallibraryofireland kilmainham kilmainhamjail kilmainhamgaol jail gaol wing screws prisonwarder prison dublin informerscorridor informer cells prisoncells messrsjrobinsonsons jailer kilmainhammemories jamescarey

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  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 28/Jan/2016 08:23:08

    The [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/] should sell this as a postcard - to send to ex-friends with the message "Wish you were here ... "

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 28/Jan/2016 08:51:53

    Wikipedia article is very interesting - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilmainham_Gaol Recent reverse view via [https://www.flickr.com/photos/sam_hunter/] - [https://www.flickr.com/photos/sam_hunter/7803501154/]

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    sharon.corbet

    • 28/Jan/2016 09:22:28

    This photo turns up in Kilmainham Memories where it is attributed to Robinson, Dublin. The book was published in 1896.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 28/Jan/2016 09:34:25

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Very interesting Sharon, perhaps Mr. Mason "acquired" the shot from Messrs. Robinson?

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    sharon.corbet

    • 28/Jan/2016 09:54:47

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] A couple more of the "Mason" Kilmainham photos seem to be also in the book, all attributed to Robinson. I've got the impression that at least some of the Mason Collection are not photos that he took himself, but ones that he collected and made into slides. One of his Trade Cards is at the Science Museum in London, where he advertises: "Cinematographs, Optical Lanterns and Slides for sale or hire"

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 28/Jan/2016 10:18:39

    Wondering how very long the exposure must have been in such a dark passageway. Particularly if in the 1890s. Or earlier? The paintwork looks relatively fresh and the netting new (see megazoom). Reminds me of an early 1880s gaol in Goulburn, NSW before the inmates moved in - [https://www.flickr.com/photos/state-records-nsw/4908458465/]

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 28/Jan/2016 10:51:26

    "... Most of these [illustrations] were, and are, reproduced from photographs taken for me by Messrs. J. Robinson & Sons, of Grafton Street. ... " , from the Preface to Tighe Hopkins good book archive.org/stream/kilmainhammemor00hopkgoog#page/n11/mod... So the image is definitely 1896.

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    O Mac

    • 28/Jan/2016 11:29:04

    Interesting facts and figures ... General Prisons Board (Ireland): twentieth report, 1897-98, with appendix

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    Niall McAuley

    • 28/Jan/2016 13:09:09

    OSI map link, the jail dates from 1796.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 28/Jan/2016 20:11:24

    Aside from the book, I couldn't find any other reference to an Informer's Corridor at Kilmainham and even there it's only in the caption to the photo.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 28/Jan/2016 21:05:58

    Thanks [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]]. Possibly because it wasn't written down or broadly advertised (for obvious reasons), we couldn't find anything concrete either. However, we do know that IRB member, Invincible, and noted informer James Carey was kept (protected?) at Kilmainham Jail after he turned informer. And before he and his family were secreted away to England (again for protection one assumes). Do we think this group of cells could have held Carey? And perhaps others in a similar situation? Definitely one to ask the guides on the next visit. Thanks all for today's contributions. Especially to [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] and[https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] for the assistance on greatly refining the range to the 1880s [EDIT!] before the mid-1890s....

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 28/Jan/2016 21:52:41

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] It may be something to do with changing terminology in the legal language. This 1883 article about Kilmainham and James Carey from the Law Journal (via Trove) talks about "An informer is a person who, generally for reward, accuses others and not himself." Also makes the distinction from an "approver". "Nowadays [1883] he is properly called Queen's evidence". trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/150431959 [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Eek! Photo not "early 1880s" - it is 1896. See the good book's Preface. Mr Hopkins wrote an article for a magazine and later fleshed it out to the book, including the illustrations.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 28/Jan/2016 23:48:45

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] Wow - sorry - not sure how I did that. Time for bed for Evening Mary me'thinks. Corrected (Thanks for the catch).

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 29/Jan/2016 03:17:32

    it's a museum now? wow. Also noted on Wikipedia, it's a Gaol, the older English spelling of it. I've only ever seen one Gaol here in Canada, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huron_Historic_Gaol

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    John Spooner

    • 30/Jan/2016 13:28:29

    Life doesn't sound too bad for 'approver' James Carey in Kilmainham - cigars and wine in abundance, but it's not so pleasant for his wife and children. He's being held where previously debtors were imprisoned.JamesCareyKilmainham Freeman's Journal , Friday, February 23, 1883

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 01/Feb/2016 00:13:03

    A very interesting find - thanks [https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner]. The Denzille Street mentioned is a few streets away from us at Library Towers - and was (somewhat intriguingly given the subject here) renamed Fenian Street (OSI map). The tenements on the street (described in the Freeman's Journal extract you highlight) were little improved even 80 years later - subject as they were to disastrous collapse in the 1960s...