An archaeological dig has been ordered in Monaghan town after a road worker found a tunnel at a location known locally as the “hospital hill”.
Site supervisor Claire Ryan, who works with a private firm of archaeologists called Arch-tech brought in to do the dig, said: “It will take up to two weeks to establish the background and the age of the red-brick built tunnel, but we will stick at it and discover its origins with the help of Liam Bradley from Monaghan County Museum.”
The find was just yards from the front door of the museum. It is believed that a series of tunnels run through the town from the courthouse up to what is now the county hospital, and from the Belgium Park area where the fever hospital was once situated.
the article doesn’t say it but i know why they exist, if in fact they all do (i’ve never heard of their even-rumoured existence despite a cousin working in the museum, and my sister is the county heritage officer)
the hill was known as gaol hill before the hospital was built in the 1930s so its safe to assume that a tunnel from the courthouse would be a possibility as well as from the fever hospital
they would be quite steep tunnels – the courthouse and belgium square are quite a bit lower, and the hospital hill is quite a steep walk even above ground
A tunnel from the jail to the courthouse certainly sounds the most likely. Not sure exactly what the situation in the Bridewell is but there’s definitely an underground element there as well where prisoners are brought from the garda barracks to the court house beside it. I’d imagine it could have been quite a common feature at one time to stop people charged with serious crimes being noosed by a mob.