Petit Futé's opinion on KILMAINHAM GAOL
It is one of the most interesting sites in Dublin to understand its history. Opened in 1796 as the County Prison of Dublin, Kilmainham Gaol has seen many of the personalities who played a role in the struggle for Irish independence pass through its walls. Among the prisoners were Henry McCracken, founder of the United Irishmen, Robert Emmet, Charles Stewart Parnell and Eamon De Valera, the last prisoner who later became Prime Minister and President of Ireland.
When it opened, it was one of the most modern prisons in Ireland. However, it was not comfortable, the windows were just holes in the walls and the limestone walls absorbed all the moisture, so winter brought its share of diseases. At the beginning of the 19th century, the perpetrators of murders and robberies with violence were publicly hanged in front of it. At the time of the Great Famine, around 1840, the Irish were still seeking to be arrested and locked up, in order to have a guaranteed meal a day. We also visit the cell of Charles Parnell who, although locked up, was treated with the respect due to his rank as "king without a crown". In 1916, during the Easter Rising, several nationalist leaders were imprisoned and later executed, including Willie Pearse and Joseph Plunkett. The last prisoners were released at the end of the civil war in 1924. The visit includes an audiovisual presentation in the chapel, a guided tour of the prison and a museum. Not to be missed!
Opening time and information on KILMAINHAM GAOL
Every day from 9.30 am to 6 pm. Adults: 8 €, seniors: 6 €, children/students: 4 €, families: 23 €.