Kilmainham Jail, Dublin

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Inchicore Road, Dublin 8 +00 353 (0)1 453 5984

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  • The prison after it was improved?
    The prison after it was improved?
    by SusanVC
  • Chapel for final prayers before execution
    Chapel for final prayers before...
    by Maryimelda
  • Balcony where the gallows once stood
    Balcony where the gallows once stood
    by Maryimelda
  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    Kilmainham Gaol (Jail)

    by Maryimelda Updated Nov 18, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Kilmainham Gaol today enjoys a certain "celebrity status" as its guest register since it opened in 1796 and closed in 1924 boasts most of the famous political heroes of the fight for Irish Independence.

    Names such as Eamon De Valera, Joseph Plunkett, Mrs Joseph Plunkett amongst many others can be found over cell doors throughout the prison.

    The history of Kilmainham and the stories that are recorded there make for an extremely interesting tour and the gaol is perhaps amongst the most popular tourist attractions in Dublin.

    Opening Hours

    April - September: Daily 09:30 - 18:00 (last admission at 17:00)
    October - March: Mon -Sat 09:30 - 17:30 (last admission at 16:30), Sunday: 10:00 - 18:00 (last admission at 17:00)

    Average Length of Visit: 1.5 hours

    Closed on the 24th, 25th & 26th December

    Don't be put off by the long queue as it moves reasonably quickly.

    Restored main floor Cross marks spot of execution. Chapel for final prayers before execution Balcony where the gallows once stood Cell of de Valera
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    Kilmainham Jail

    by Pomocub Written Nov 3, 2013

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    Kilmainham Jail or Kilmainham Gaol as it is known in Ireland is a former prison where the main rebellious leaders of the Irish Revolution were incarcerated. There is a small museum where you can look at various artefacts from people who were imprisoned. Unfortunately you are not allowed to wonder around the prison on your own, you must take a group guide. The guides are very knowledgable and cram a lot of information during the tour. There was also a lot of films and television programmes filmed in Kilmainham Jail. I would highly recommend a visit if you ever find yourself in Dublin.

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    Kilmainham Gaol

    by ValbyDK Updated Jul 31, 2012

    Kilmainham Gaol opened in 1796, and is without doubt Ireland’s most famous prison. Many famous Irish Nationalists were held in prison here and the leaders of the 1916 Ester Rising were executed in the exercise yard. It was closed in 1924 - the last prisoner was Eamon de Valery, who later became Prime Minister and President of Ireland...

    The Gaol now functions as a museum, and is open for public on guided tours... It will take you through the prison chapel, the West Wing, the prison yards with the execution spot, and the East Wing... The East Wing is the most spectacular section; it has 96 cells, is 3 storeys high and has been used as settings for a few well-known films like “In the Name of the Father” and “Michael Collins”. Very interesting and absolute worth a visit…

    Kilmainham Gaol, the East Wing Kilmainham Gaol, exhibition area Kilmainham Gaol, the West Wing Kilmainham Gaol, execution spot
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  • A perfect guided tour

    by DJM53 Written Jul 26, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The highlight of our trip to Dublin, the wait for the guided tour was well worth it, the guide was great and gave a brief history of Irish times from the 1700's to the early 1900's and the struggles the people went through. The goal itself was amazing and you wondered what the prisoners went through.

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    Kilmainham Jail

    by aventurasdejacey Written Apr 23, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a really interesting guided tour and museum for anyone interested in Irish history. The guides were great story tellers and the place has been kept up really well.

    When I was there, we had to sign up for a specific time for our tour, and ended up having to wait for a little over an hour, but it was worth it.

    *Note: I believe we used a map we got from our hostel, Oliver St. John Gogarty's, and it was definitely not drawn to scale! By the looks of the map, Kilmainham seemed to be only 6-8 blocks away, but the map stopped including side streets after a while, and really shortened the roads just to fit the jail on the map! It wasn't an unbearable walk, but what we thought would take 30 min. took us far over an hour, so be aware of that :)

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    Kilmainham Gaol

    by tara108 Written Apr 22, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The tour of this gaol and its museum was the highlight of our trip to Dublin. Fascinating insight to the more recent Irish history and the struggles for independence. Our tour guide was fantastic - just the right amount of information, never boring.

    Just a word of advice: don't bring children under 8 years old to this. It's boring for them and very distracting for the rest of the group to have a bored child verbalizing and running about. My 12-year-old enjoyed most of it and was able to cope with some of the longer talks, but young ones simply cannot.

    The courtyard at the end is a powerful reminder of how fortunate we are to be free.

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  • Please release me !!!!!!

    by steffy71 Written Apr 17, 2011

    Just returned to the UK from Dublin , great time in the city but disappointed with our prison visit. Was recommended this tour by a tourst info rep, however weren't told that u had to book onto a tour firstly so resulted in a 90 minute wait with frankly nothing to do in the mean time. Lots of hanging around in dark pokey corridors (not good for the clostrophobics) and due to the size of the group, found it difficult at times to hear what the guide was saying , also quite a few children on our tour which were quite distracting ( no good for the kiddies) .
    If you're interested in Irish history then go for it, if not give it a miss !!!

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    Kilmainham Gaol

    by mvtouring Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A visit to the jail was recommended to us by the info centre, the receptionist at our hotel and various other people, so we decided to give it a go and were not dissapointed. The goal was built in 1792, and it is Ireland's most famous disused prison. It held throughout the years many famous Nationalists and Republicans in members of the Society of United Irishmen (1798), Young Irelanders (c1840s), Fenians and Land agitators, Parnell, Davitt. The leaders of the 1916 Ester Rising were executed here. When you stand in the execution area, you cannot help but feel sad about what struggles there were for this nation to get to independence, but I am sure that the people who gave their lives for it, is happy today. The prison was closed in 1924. This building gives a good insight into the history of Irish Republicanism.

    Kilmainham Gaol Kilmainham Gaol Kilmainham Gaol Kilmainham Gaol Kilmainham Gaol

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  • Kilmainham Goal

    by karibery Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I also agree with those who recommended the Kilmainham Goal. It was one of the most touching and memorable things on my trip 2 years ago. I think a walk through the Merion Square area with all the colorful doors and very cool knockers, if you are around Christ Church or St Patricks at evensong time you have to sit through a service, but you get in for free at least. We stayed at the litton lane hostel which used to be a recording studio for U2 and David Bowie. The location was great, except that you are right next to a bar that does an irish dance show most nights. A day trip to Knowth is worth it if you like history and neo-lithic things. you can get a bus straight from dublin

    the entrance to the jail Inside courtyard of the jail
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  • Kilmainham Goal

    by karibery Updated Apr 4, 2011

    I also agree with those who recommended the Kilmainham Goal. It was one of the most touching and memorable things on my trip 2 years ago. I think a walk through the Merion Square area with all the colorful doors and very cool knockers, if you are around Christ Church or St Patricks at evensong time you have to sit through a service, but you get in for free at least. We stayed at the litton lane hostel which used to be a recording studio for U2 and David Bowie. The location was great, except that you are right next to a bar that does an irish dance show most nights. A day trip to Knowth is worth it if you like history and neo-lithic things. you can get a bus straight from dublin

    the entrance to the jail Inside courtyard of the jail
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    Kilmanheim Jail

    by SusanVC Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If at all interested in history and in particular, Ireland's troubled history with England, visit this jail. Even my 12 year old daughter enjoyed it but then she always loves learning and visiting historical sites. The guides on the tour are amazing and full of history facts both known and unknown.

    Written by one of the rebel prisoners One of the older cells The prison after it was improved? The yard where the executions took place Used to hang people on either side of this
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  • how could i book a visit

    by fabriziocovi Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Morning,
    my name is Fabrizio Covi; I work as a teacher in a secondary school in the North of Italy; a couple of years ago I had the pleasure to visit your "jail"; as I found it extremely interesting, I would like to know how I could book a visit. I will come to Dublin at the very end of March with 23 students and a colleague of mine.
    I'm aware that this is not the right page where I can book a visit, but maybe you could tell me where to go.
    I would like to book a visit for Wednesday 1st April in the early afternoon (at about 2pm) for 25 people altogether (2 teachers + 23 students).
    Could you also tell me how much it would be per person?
    I thank you in advance and wish you a lovely day!
    Fabrizio Covi

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    Kilmainham Goal - Easter Week Rebellion 1916

    by Mikebb Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On our tour of the Goal there were many places of interest were highlighted relating to the Easter Week rebellion.

    Some of these were the cells where the prisoners were kept, the plaque detailing the names of those executed within the goal, and the Cross in the courtyard indicating where executions took place.

    Mrs Joseph Plunkett's Cell Notice In Museum Plaque With Names Of Those Executed Where They Were Shot In This Courtyard. A Cell
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  • lina112's Profile Photo

    Kilmainham gaol

    by lina112 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Built in 1792, it is Ireland's most famous disused prison. It held throughout the years many famous Nationalists and Republicans in members of the Society of United Irishmen (1798), Young Irelanders (c1840s), Fenians and Land agitators, Parnell, Davitt. The leaders of the 1916 Ester Rising were executed here. The prison was closed in 1924. This building gives a good insight into the history of Irish Republicanism.

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • lbhspatriot's Profile Photo

    Learn about Irish History

    by lbhspatriot Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Kilmainham Gaol is a former prison, converted into a museum because of the role it played in the Irish history (as most revolutionary leaders where imprisoned and executed there). On your guided tour through the prison you learn the bitter history of the Irish and about the consequences of their fight for independence. The prison is divided into two wings, one of which is an old "dungeon like" jail, the other a modern (almost contemporary) prison. While exploring the architecture you hear many interesting stories about life and death, but not only... you learn about patriotism, friendship and love. The guides are great and they give a wonderfull narative throughout the whole tour.
    After you are done you can do an interactive tour of the place, vote for or against capital punishment and see diferent artifacts left by the prisoners.
    This is a very good exhibition that I recommed to everyone.

    You can do this tour as a part of hop on and hop off tour or on your own - there is an easy access by buses: 51B, 78A, 79, 79A (all go from Aston Quay stop in City Centre -ask the driver where to get of) or the Luas Red Line (Suir Road).

    Purchase tickets at the jail's ticket window or buy there an Ireland Heritage Card (admission is included along with eight other Dublin historical attractions). The free admission to the jail becomes included when you purchase the Dublin Pass.

    Admission Fees
    Adult: €5.30
    Sen/Group: €3.70
    Child/Student: €2.10
    Family: €11.50

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