ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Kilmainham Gaol Dublin

Updated on December 12, 2017

Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison in Dublin, is known as one of the best historical tourist sites in Dublin. Many Irish revolutionaries were imprisoned at Kilmainham Gaol, connecting it with Ireland’s battle for independence over the 19th and early 20th century. This therefore makes the gaol a fascinating place to visit and gain insight into Ireland’s history.

The Foundation of the Gaol

Kilmainham Goal was built in 1796 to replace a run-down jail in Dublin. The gaol held prisoners convicted of all manners of crimes, ranging from petty theft to political crimes. Most of the prisoners were kept in crowded conditions, and originally, men, women, and children were all held together in the same cells. Eventually, a women’s area was built in the gaol’s west wing, but conditions remained poor.

Some prisoners were transported from Kilmainham to Australia. Others, particularly political prisoners, were executed by hanging or firing squad. Between 1796 and 1820, a number of prisoners were publically hanged in front of the gaol.

Kilmainham Gaol’s Connection to the Irish Independence Movement

Kilmainham Gaol is considered one of the key sites connected to the history of the Irish Independence movement because many of the movement’s key figures were imprisoned there. Leaders from the Irish rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867, and 1916 were all imprisoned at Kilmainham Gaol, as were prisoners from the Irish War of Independence in 1919-1921.

Many of these prisoners were ultimately executed. In 1891, the gaol built a hanging room for this purpose. Some prisoners, most famously the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, were executed by firing squad in the gaol’s exercise yard.

One of the gaol’s most famous prisoners was Eamon de Valera, who later became the third president of Ireland. Other well-known political prisoners include Robert Emmett, Charles Steward Parnell, Michael Dwyer, Oliver Bond, and Anne Devlin. These and other prisoners connect the gaol closely with the history of the independence movement.

Visiting Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol was closed in 1924, and it was restored as a historical site in the 1960s. Visitors can tour sections of the gaol and see exhibitions on the history of Irish nationalism. Sections of the gaol remain in their original condition, providing visitors with a moving look at the conditions the prisoners lived in.

There is a guided tour that takes approximately an hour. On the tour, you’ll view some of the cell blocks the prisoners lived in, some of which include graffiti and other markings left by the prisoners. The tour guides are experts in the history of the Irish independence movement and will provide you with a lot of detailed information to bring what you see to life.

The museum exhibitions are also fascinating. A tour through the gaol only costs €4, making it one of the best bargains in Irish tourism. Kilmainham Gaol is a very popular site, so you may wait in line for a long time, particularly if you arrive later in the day. Despite the wait, however, a visit to the gaol is more than worth it.

Tour of Kilmainham Gaol Prison in Dublin, Ireland

Kilmainham Gaol in Movies

Allthough it is always difficult to consider a prison as a nice setting it has been so in a couple of movies I really enjoyed. Most notable movies for me featuring this historic building are:

  • The Escapist
  • In the Name of the Father
  • The Italian Job

If you've seen these movies you'll probably have a more enjoyable experience when you visit the prison, because you can image how it was.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)