Northern Ireland

Villagers and James Galway play first TV concert at Crumlin Road Gaol

Villagers' Conor O'Brien in the tunnel at Crumlin Road Gaol.
Image caption Villagers' Conor O'Brien in the tunnel at Crumlin Road Gaol

The first televised live music concert from Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast, takes place on Friday 5 June as part of BBC Music Day.

Acts include Conor O'Brien of Villagers, Sir James Galway, the Ulster Orchestra, The Voice winner Andrea Begley and Belfast Community Gospel Choir.

Built between 1843 and 1845, Crumlin Road Gaol is the only Victorian era prison remaining in Northern Ireland.

In recent years, it has staged occasional live music and weddings.

Modelled on London's Pentonville prison, Crumlin Road Gaol cost £60,000 to build.

Image copyright Tourism NI
Image caption The inner wing at Crumlin Road Gaol

The County Gaol for Antrim, as it was originally known, opened in 1846 and the first 106 inmates were forced to walk in chains from the old county gaol in Carrickfergus.

Well-known prisoners have included, Eamon De Valera, Ian Paisley, Martin McGuinness, Michael Stone and Bobby Sands.

In the gaol's lifetime, 17 men were executed by hanging, their bodies buried within the prison walls in unconsecrated ground.

The only marker was the men's initials, scratched into the wall against the year of execution.

The last man to be executed was Robert McGladdery. He was hanged on 20 December 1961, after being found guilty of the murder of Pearl Gamble.

The gaol closed its doors in 1996 after 150 years as a working prison.

Following extensive renovations it reopened in 2012 as a visitor attraction and conference centre.

The live music programme will be broadcast from the gaol at 9pm on BBC Two NI and BBC Radio Ulster, and will also be available to watch across the UK behind the red button from 10pm.

Image copyright Tourism NI
Image caption The exterior of Crumlin Road Gaol

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