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.
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.
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.
This is an old jail opened in 1796 and closed in 1924. It was the site where many famous revolutionaries were held, and some executed. It was opened over the span of 6 major revolutions. The cost to get in was 5.30 Euros for adults and 2.10 Euros for students, which includes entrance to the museum and a guided tour of the jail, which lasts about 1 hour. The guided tour was actually really well done. The first part of it is a visual slide show where the tour guide explains a brief history of the jail and revolutions which increased its population. The gude was really great and gave just the right amount of information without boring you. You saw cells of famous political prisoners and sites of executions, including memorial plaque and paintings. The museum ther is quite interesting too. I would recommend going through the museum after the tour as many of the items there have significance to the stories you will hear on the tour and will mean a lot more to you after it. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone, young and old.
I wanted to see the place,where they had filmed"In the name of the father".It was as interesting as we thought.We had a little trouble finding the information about opening hours and so on.Net-pages were little odd.
We walked there,and got lost once,when there was one street-name,witch wasn´t in my map.
place was VERY COLD.We didn´t know it had been closed so long,so we were little surprised to hear that.It didn´t seem so old in the film
This fascinating museum is a must see for anyone with an interest in late 19th century/early 20th century Irish history, one of the most tumultuous times in the history of the nation in which the Easter Rising, the War of Independence and The Civil War took place. Kilmainham Jail played a part in all of these events but is chiefly remembered as the place where the leaders of the 1916 Rising were executed.
Kilmainham Jail was opened in 1795 and at the time was outside the city walls. Dublin has of course grown since then and Kilmainham nowadays is a busy suburb of the city. There are excellent displays in the museum on life at the time in Ireland and a discussion of the roles of prisons in society at this time.
What attracts most people to the museum of course is its links with the Rising and the birth of the Irish Republic. The leaders of the Rising were all imprisoned here before being shot and you can see their cells as well as the yard where they were executed. Some of the stories from this time are incredibly sad. Joseph Plunkett, one of the leaders of the Rising was executed in the yard, having been married only hours earlier to Grace Gifford in the prison chapel. James Connolly, another of the leaders, was shot by firing squad despite not being able to stand up after injuries sustained in the Rising. When locals heard of the executions and these stories in particular it helped sway popular opinion in favour of the Rising and against British rule.
The main part of the prison has been used in many films including Michael Collins and In the Name of the Father. Here you can see Eamon De Valera’s (former Irish Taoiseach) cell as well as that of Grace Gifford, which contains a painting of the Madonna. There are regular tours from the front desk and it’s well worth joining one of this as they are informative and interesting. There is also a museum set on three floors.
For a taste of Irish history, particularly Ireland's fight for independence from Britain, visit Kilmainham Gaol. Leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916 were imprisoned and shot here. Be sure to take the guided tour. The exhibits in the museum are also quite interesting and informative. Parts of the movies "In the Name of the Father" and "Michael Collins" were filmed in Kilmainham Gaol.
A MUSTTTTT to visit...
The guided tour is EXCELLENT (+/- 1 hour)
Known because of some famous/legendary people who were prisoned here.
Setting of famous films like In the name of the father, The Italian Job, Michael Collins,.. and is often used as music/recording/studio f.e. sinead o connor
If ever there was a sterotype of how the inside of an old-fashioned prison should look, then Kilmainham jail fits the bill.
The cells extend over four stories or so, built around a central couryard. the room is glass lined, which gives great natural light inside. This design also means that prison warders can easily 'scan' the whole area in moments. The warders used the central broad iron staicase, to move around the jail, whilst the prisoners had a much more enclosed, narrow and steep spiral staircase to use. It really is a masterpiece of design.
It is therefore not surprising that the jail has been used in a whole range of films and TV programmes over the years. It features in 'The name of the father' and 'Michael Collins' but also rather more oddly in 'The Face of Fu Manchu'.
In one of my favourites films, 'The Italian Job' (the original, not the silly Hollywood re-make) the jail was used for the famous Jail scene where the Crime-world boss Mr Bridger (played by Noel Coward) accepts the praise of the prisoners banging their plates on the bannisters following the news that the heist in Turin was a success.
Mr Bridger had given the go-ahead for the raid from inside the jail with the words "Well I hope he likes Spagetti, they serve if four times a day in Italian prisons"
Kilmainham jail remains one of the most poiniant reminders of the violent birth of the Irish nation.
The extreme group of nationalists responsible for the Pheonix park murders, known as 'The Invincibles' were executed here by William Marwood. This famous executioner (he would not use the term 'hangman') from Horncastle in Lincolnshire, UK relished his work. His 'calling card' can still be seen in the museum sextion inside the jail.
The leaders of the uprising of 1916 were also imprisoned here and faced the firing squad rather than the noose. The compulsory tour the jail dwells on the stories and row of cells that held these men.
In particular the tragic story of Joseph Mary Plunkett , the poet is told in some detail. He was at 28, the youngest to sign the declaration of independence at the GPO (general post office), and his fate was sealed. On the final night he married his childhood sweetheart Mary Gifford. His 'honeymoon' consisted of the grand total of 10 minutes in his cell - and even then they wern't left alone to consumate the marriage. It would be nice to think that a blind eye was turned - but I doubt it.
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