It was a case of wanting in rather than out at Sligo Gaol on Friday 16th September 2016.
To celebrate Culture Night over 100 people gathered at the jail to watch a special screening of Escape from Alcatraz. The 1979 classic dramatizes the 1962 escape from the prison by prisoners Frank Morris, Clarence Anglin and John Anglin and stars the legendary Clint Eastwood.
Attendees were greeted at the gate by Friends of Sligo Gaol ‘Governor’ Dan Scannell and were escorted into the jail by ‘bold prisoners’.
After been given a brief viewing of the jail’s asylum wing, movie goers were treated to a wine reception with special prison cupcakes.
‘Prisoners’ handed out popcorn before people took their seats to watch the iconic film, which was projected in front of the jail’s hanging wall. Before the film aired, FOSG Chairperson Tamlyn McHugh informed those present that they were actually sitting in the execution yard and probably on top of the graves of those executed for their crimes.
That being said, the mood was light-hearted at the jail, as ‘prisoners’ made several escape attempts but were quickly apprehended by the heavy handed ‘wardens’.
“We were delighted to have so many in attendance and we had more on our waiting list. We are always heartened to see the huge support for and interest in the jail,” said Tamlyn.
She said the night proved a great success, hot on the heels of the group’s last day of tours to mark Heritage Week in August.
“We would like to thank the Civil Defence for all their help and assistance as well as Cliffoney Hall for graciously lending us the chairs for the event. We would also like to thank the public for their encouragement for the work we are doing here. The jail is such an asset to the community and it is reassuring to know that so many are in agreement,” said Tamlyn.
She also praised the work of FOSG in making the event such a success.
This event was funded by a Community and Voluntary grant from Sligo County Council.
Eileen Magnier from RTE filmed at the Gaol in advance of the event as part of the station's coverage of Culture Night in Sligo on the 6.01 news.
Sligo Champion coverage of the Movie Night event.
FOSG Chairperson Tamlyn McHugh being interviewed just before the event by Claire Ronan from Irish TV.