Instawalk: Kilmainham Gaol

if memory serves me correctly, Kilmainham Gaol is the second old jail (gaol = jail) that i’ve visited after the Eastern State Penitentiary near Philadelphia. it’s a smidge out of the way from Dublin’s city center, but it’s worth the trip. i took Luas there — it’s about a 5 minute quick walk north from the Suir Road stop (€4.60 round trip from the Docklands). admission is €6 for adults, and they take credit cards (including swipe).

Kilmainham played a central role in the quest for Irish independence with many key figures of the movement over the years being locked up there (and many even executed). yes, you know i love old buildings, and there’s plenty of that here, but the highlight came at the start of the (mandatory, but informative) tour, a mini-lecture on Irish history (not as boring as that sounds — there are pictures!). it helped a lot of disparate pieces to fall into place, so if i could redo my stay here, i would have gone to Kilmainham first so i could better appreciate the General Post Office, the Proclamation of the Irish Republic in the Long Room, and Éamon de Valera who i had previously heard about in several places.

Gaolhouse rock

The East Wing


Gallows trap door lever :/

Yes, this is a gallows trap door lever.


Cell peephole

Cell peephole

Stonebreakers Yard, site of executions of leaders of the 1916 uprising

Crosses mark the execution locations of the leaders of the 1916 uprising.

sidebar: while you wait a half block away from the gaol is an entrance to the Irish Museum of Modern Art — a big fortified gate; you can’t miss it — that takes you past some historic cemeteries and a big field where parents with strollers and retirees with dogs soak up the sun. the gaol opens at 9:30 AM but if you’re early like i was, it’s a really pleasant way to while away the minutes.

Taking a stroll waiting for gaol to open. Wish this sign were true! #t


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