Belfast’s landmark Crumlin Road Courthouse, a place that hosted the Shankhill Butchers trial, with 17 people executed across the road, will be renovated and turned into a £25m hotel.
The site has an underground tunnel to the jail across the road. The Crumlin Road Gaol is known as “The Crum”. 17 men were hanged here between 1853 and 1961.
The last trial here was in 1998, meaning that over the last 19 years this imposing and “scary” building has gathered a lot of dust. After three fires, it looks deplorable.
The building was sold in 2003 for only £1. Now, the Signature Living Group will transform it into a glamorous hotel, since already the site is a tourist attraction. The building is hosting public tours, concerts and paranormal investigations.
Besides “The Crum”, the courthouse also saw the frightful crimes of Ulster loyalist gang the Shankill Butchers investigated in forensic detail during 1978 and 1979.
Of 19 murders 11 men have been convicted. The 42 life sentences handed down were the most in a single trial in Britain.
In one 1983 case, 22 IRA suspects were jailed for a total of 4,000 years, Sky News recalls.