Ireland 2011 - Kilmainham Gaols

Kilmainham Gaols are located in Dublin.  Has a fasinating and very sad history, I couldn't imagine how one would survive here and I am some did not.

Built in 1792 and is currently a Irish Heritage Site, that the public can tour through.  I did the tour, that went through the different areas including the chapel, one of the cell blocks, the courtyards etc. If the walls could talk, them would have much to say.

"From the 1790s onwards, freedom from Bristish rule, as a republic, became the form of political independence favoured by radical Irish nationalists.  More moderate nationalists aspired to "Home Rule", or  constituational independence for Ireland within the British Empire.  A remarkable number of the leading figures of Irish nationalism were imprisoned at Kilmainham Gaol, and some were executed here.

But there is much more to Kilmainham's story; the gaol functioned for most of the its life as an ordinary prison, and the fate of ordinary Men, Women, and Children as convicts is a compelling story in its own right."

The following photos are of the East Wing. 

This part of the prison may seem familiar to some, as it has featured in scenes in the movies. Some of In the Name of the Father, Michael Collins and The Italian Job were shot here.

Mural of a Madonna painted by Grace Gifford Plunkett while she was held during the Civil War.  This is quite a sad story, Grace Gifford Plunkett was married to Joseph Plunkett was one of the original members of the IRB Military Committee; Easter Risings of 1916.  Following the surrender Plunkett was held in Kilmainham Gaol, and faced a court martial. Hours before his execution by firing squad at the age of 28, he was married in the prison chapel to his sweetheart Grace Gifford, a Protestant convert to Catholicism, whose sister, Muriel, had years before also converted and married his best friend Thomas MacDonagh, who was also executed for his role in the Easter Rising.

Throughout the Civil War, vast numbers of republicans were arrested and incarcerated in jails over the country without trial or charge. Grace was arrested with many others in February 1923 and detained in Kilmainham Jail for about three months. She painted pictures on the walls of her cell, including one of the Madonna and Child. She was released in May 1923.

The Prison Chapel

There is alot of history in this place, many things happened here that changed many lives.  If you are planning a trip to Dublin this would be one of the places to go and see.  To get a good sense of Irish history.

Grace Gifford Plunket
Joseph Plunkett
Kilmainham Gaols