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Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol

East Ireland | County Dublin

Kilmainham Gaol, located in Dublin City is one of the largest unoccupied prisons in Europe and it is strongly associated with the Irish history, especially with Ireland's painful path to independence from the British invader. Gaol designed by John Traile was completed in 1796 and replaced the old Dublin County Jail. At that time the main building comprised of two rectangles, enclosing two courtyards and had 52 cells, about 6 square meters each. Modeled on Pentonville Prison in London, the east wing, was added in 1862 providing 96 additional cells. It was a massive three-storey construction with huge inside courtyard stretching from the ground floor up to the glass roof, surrounded by catwalks (one on each floor) onto which cells open. Until 1881, detained were both, men and women, and even children. In the times of Great Famine jail was so overcrowded that women and children were kept on corridors. During the first half of 19th century, it was the last stop for over 4000 convicts who were sentenced to transportation to penal colonies in Australia. During the first half of 19th century, it was the last stop for over 4000 convicts who were sentenced to transportation to penal colonies in Australia. In February 1910, the gaol has been closed, but was reopened again after Easter Rising in 1916 to house political prisoners and continued to be used until the end of Civil War in 1924. The last prisoner of Kilmainham Gaol was Eamon de Valera, later Prime Minister (Taoiseach) and President of Ireland. Renovation of abandoned and neglected building began in 1960 and was carried out by volunteers, for almost 30 years and since 1986 roku is open to the public and became one of the most popular tourist attractions in Dublin. Guided tour and museum housed in the building of the former prison provide detailed information about its history, about the conditions in which the prisoners were detained and for which crimes they were convicted. Large part of the tour is dedicated to those who were fighting and sacrificed their lives for the independence of Ireland. Leaders of every Irish rebellion between 1798 and 1916 were incarcerated here, and many of them spent here the last days of their life, waiting for a death sentence. Kilmainham Gaol also appeared in many well-known film productions such as “The Italian Job”, “In the Name of the Father” or “The Wind That Shakes the Barley”, as also in the video clip of U2 (“A Celebration”) and Sinead O'Connor (“I Am Stretched On Your Grave”).

    • April - September:
      • Daily: 9:30 - 18
    • October - March:
      • Mon - Sat: 9:30 - 17:30
      • Sun: 10- 18
      • December 24th - 26th: closed
    • Last admission: 1h before closing
    • Adult: €4
    • Senior/Group: €3
    • Child/Student: €2
    • Family: €10
    • +353 1 453 5984
  • CAR PARK :
    • Town car park

Photos from Kilmainham Gaol