Kilmainham Jail, Dublin
Kilmainham Gaol.IF for no other reason, Kilmainham Gaol would is remarkable for being the biggest unoccupied gaol in europe.
Touching in so many ways on the people and forces that shaped modern Ireland, Kilmainham Gaol offers a panoramic insight into some of the most profound, disturbing and inspirational themes of modern Irish history.
A visit to the Gaol includes a guided tour, an audio–visual presentation and an exhibition.
Leaders of the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867 and 1916 were detained here. The names of Robert Emmet, Thomas Francis Meagher, Charles Stewart Parnell, the leaders of the 1916 Rising, DeValera and a host of other famous names are associated with the Gaol.
Tour Dublin's old jail and learn so much about Irish history. This building witnessed a turbulent past including Famine, Revolution and Civil War). The tour through the prison is definitely my favourite tour in Dublin! The Jail opened in 1796 and closed in 1924 when the last prisoner, future Irish president Eamon de Valera was released.
After its closing in 1924 Kilmainham Gaol was falling into a state of ruin. In 1960, voluntary workers - mostly veterans from the time of the Irish civil war - started restoring and made it to the national monument which it is now.
Tours take about an hour. Have a look into the museum before it starts! It then starts with the new wing that you might know from movies such as "In the Name of the Father", followed by a multimedia (slide) show about Irish history, shown in the Catholic chapel where Grace Gifford and Joseph Mary Plunkett were married only a few hours before his execution.
After this you will see the small and cold cells which housed the 1916 leaders, but also the relatively big and comfortable rooms where Parnell was forced to stay. In the end there is Stonebreakers' Yard, where your guide describes the executions and a cross marks the spot. James Connolly was brought in here by ambulance and shot while tied to a chair because he was wounded during the Easter rising.
Just a warning: You might want to know some facts about Irish history before you visit. If you have heard names like Eamon de Valera or Patrick Pearse before you should be ok. Otherwise it might not be too exciting for you to do the tour.
And if you want to know more of the history of the Republic, the tour of Kilmainham Gaol, the former State Jail, is very instructive and interesting.
Sequences of the film In the name of the Father were shot here.
This is an interesting tour of an 18th century prison. The tour lasts around an hour and you visit places like the cells and the yard where prisoners were executed. A fascinating and poignant place.
You might recognise the photo - the prison was the set for several films, including 'In The Name of The Father'.
Kilmainham Jail was one of the places on my list that i planned to see when i was in Dublin, and i was not disappointed as visitors can only walk round the jail with a guide who gave some historical information and some interesting little stories too. The jail is one of the largest unoccupied jails in Europe and you will be told of the terrible events that took place in Ireland from 1780-1920. There is also an audio visual show that is well worth seeing. Unfortunately part of the jail was closed for renovation so the entrance fee was reduced to 4 euro (3 euro with senior citizen discount), but even so it was a bargain. There is a museum there too which is included in the fee and it is easy to spend an hour there, especially if you are familiar with the Irish Independence movement. The tour takes around 45 minutes so allow an hour and a half for a visit, even longer should you wish to have a snack in the cafe. Tours take place every 20 minutes (if i am remember correctly) and can be very popular so try and arrive early to avoid waiting so long.
Open all Year
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)
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
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!
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.
One of the largest unoccupied gaols in Europe, covering some of the most heroic and tragic events in Ireland's emergence as a modern nation from 1780s to the 1920s.
It has now been converted into a tourist attraction that includes a major exhibition detailing the political and penal history of the prison and its restoration. The tour of the prison includes an audio-visual show.
The guided tour here was well worth it and the guide provided very pertinent information about the jail and how it ties in with Ireland's history and fight for independence.
At the time of my visit there was also an art exhibition utlisiing the cells surrounding the main courtyard.
Built in 1795, in Kilmainham Jail Irish heroes were imprisoned including Charles Stewart Parnell, Robert Emmet, Eamon de Valera, Padraig Pearse and James Connolly. Indeed at least 14 leaders of the Easter Rising were executed at Kilmainham Jail in 1916. It was closed in 1924.
Visitors are given a guided tour of the history of Kilmainham including visiting the cells and seeing the signatures of famous prisoners on the wall. An audio-visual presentation is included in the guided tour.
If you have any interest in Irish history, this is a MUST SEE stop!
Kilmainhamjail was like trying to find a needle in a haystack for me, and I never found it. I regret having left it til late to go there during my visit. It' supposed to be a good tour. I'd suggest finding out exactly how to get there via public transportation or have someone take you there. I tried driving there, and I think I was in the area, but I never found an entrance or a sign for it.
Go down to Kilmainham to get a feeling for the less happy Ireland of less than 100 years ago. Another one of those places people need to go to in order to ensure we don't make the same mistakes again!!
I loved this tour...the reasons are many....it is very educational, I learned so much about Irish history, heard so many very interesting stories about Irishmen...all in all Gaol (Jail) is a MUST SEE in Duublin. xx
The cross in the image above shows the spot where James Connolly who was tied to a chair to keep him upright was executed after the 1916 Easter Rising when fifteen of the leaders were executed by firing squad in the stone-breaker’s yard, among them Patrick Pearse and his brother William, James Connolly, Thomas Clarke and Joseph Plunkett.
Plunkett had married his sweet-heart Grace Gifford in the prison chapel the night before his execution, the couple being allowed just a few minutes together before their final separation.
At the same time a frantic search for Eamon de Valera's American birth certificate saved him from execution by a government unwilling to upset its potential US ally in World War I. If de Valera had retained the Irish form of his name, Edward Coll, he would have joined his fellow revolutionaries among Ireland's martyred patriots and the subsequent course of Irish history would have been very different.
When it came to political prisoners, the authorities learned too late that many were more dangerous when in prison than when free and, in the case of the 1916 leaders, more dangerous dead than when alive. The Rebellion ushered in the most traumatic and final period in the prison’s history with the conflict of 1919-21 that brought about independence and the subsequent civil war during which a policy of official executions as reprisals embittered and divided Ireland for many years after.
If you can, take a tour of Kilmainham Jail. The history of this place is incredible, and the people who spent time here are some of the most famous (and infamous) in Irish history. The guided tours are very informative, and looking through their museum gives you a great idea of what life in that prison was like. It was really amazing to see in person what I had learned about in many of my Irish history and politics classes. It makes history come to light!