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Spike Island Literary Festival

A crime-themed book festival in cork

In the dark and spooky corridors of Spike Island prison, tales of daring thieves, prolific murderers and notorious villains send shivers up the spines of visitors. Now, the 400 year old prison and its vengeful ghosts will play host to a brand new, chilling literary festival that will bring crime to life for fans of the genre.

From 2nd – 4th September, Spike Island Literary Festival will see a variety of author talks and workshops on the popular genre of crime come to the island, with festival-goers, aspiring writers, and crime fanatics getting to meet literary agents, authors, and garner valuable advice from experienced publishers.


As well as a chance to attend author led talks and workshops, each attendee will be brought on a very special tour of the islands former prisons, that will detail the stories of the former inmates.  This includes access to areas normally off limits to day visitors, so attendees might leave with inspiration for a novel of their own.


The Spike Island setting is perfectly fitting given its historic past as an island prison over the last 400 years.  The last prison incarnation opened in 1985 and only closed its doors in 2004.  Famous inmates include ‘The General’ Martin Cahill, a Dublin crime boss who was prolific in the 1980’s.  The island has seen its share of murderers and notorious thieves down through the years, which might inspire Cork’s next crime writer to put pen to paper.


The Metropole Hotel is a proud sponsor of the festival. We are conveniently located just 5 minutes from Cork Kent Train Station from where guests can get a train to Cobh. Tickets for the festival will include access to Spike Island from Cobh and will be released shortly. They can be purchased online or via our Concierge service at the hotel.

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