Derry Gaol

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Coordinates: 54°59′38″N 7°19′34″W / 54.994°N 7.326°W / 54.994; -7.326

Derry Gaol, also known as Londonderry Gaol, refers to one of several gaols (prisons) constructed consecutively in Derry, Northern Ireland. The gaol is notable as a place of incarceration for Irish Republican Army members during the Irish Civil War, and for its numerous executions, seven of which took place between 1820 and 1923.

Gaols timeline[edit]

  • 1620: First gaol constructed at the junction of Butcher Street and the Diamond
  • 1676: Second gaol constructed at Ferryquay Street
  • 1791: Third gaol opens at Bishop Street
  • 1824: Fourth gaol, with unique horseshoe design, opens after four years of construction at a cost of over £33,000
  • March 31, 1953: Gaol closes

Executions timeline[edit]

  • 1820: John Rainey, John McQuade, and Robert Acheson, highwaymen gang members convicted of the murder of Henry O'Hagan, escape the third gaol while awaiting execution, are recaptured, and hanged in front of the third gaol
  • 1921:James McNulty was arrested not known for?
  • January 6, 1893: John Boyle of County Tyrone is hanged after being convicted at Ulster Assizes for the beating death of his wife of 10 years at Aughnacloy
  • January 5, 1904: Joseph Moan, convicted as the "Trillick murderer" at the Spring Assizes, is hanged for the murder of Rose McCann while she was on her way home to Badoney
  • August 20, 1908: John Berryman is hanged for the murder of his brother and sister-in-law, William Berryman and Jane Turner Berryman, near Garvagh, after the two brothers fell out over shares of a prosperous farm there, and after being convicted at the Londonderry Assizes
  • February 8, 1923: William Rooney is hanged for kicking 21-year-old Gunnings Mill factory worker Lilly Johnston to death in Cookstown, after being convicted at the Ulster Winter Assizes in Belfast

Folk song[edit]

"Derry Gaol" is also another title used for the folk song "The Maid Freed from the Gallows"; some versions of the lyrics bemoan that there is "no release" from the Derry Gaol.