Kilmainham Jail, Dublin
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
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.
Kilmainham Jail or gaol is the place, where the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were executed-and where Joseph Plunkett married Grace Gifford in a secret ceremony only hours before he was executed.
The guided tour was very interesting and the guide defenitely knew what he was talking about, so if you're interested in irish history- must-see!!!
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!!
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!
This plaque and an Irish flag commemorate the deaths of the revolutionary leaders of the Easter Rising in the yard in which they were killed.