For a slightly more ghoulish perspective on Irish history, why not pay a visit to Kilmainham Gaol, one of the largest unoccupied prisons in Europe.
After having been decommissioned in 1924, the Gaol has been restored and open to the public since 1971 and includes a museum on the history of Irish nationalism, the political and penal history of the prison, and its restoration. There is also a coffee shop, and an art gallery displaying the paintings, sculptures and jewellery work of current prisoners from all over Ireland.
Entry includes a guided tour of the facility, lasting approximately an hour. Visitors journey through the cells that were the site of the incarceration of almost every notable Irish nationalist leader, including Charles Stewart Parnell and his parliamentary colleagues, as well as many prisoners of the War of Independence. The tour then moves through to the prison yard, where the first four republican prisoners of the Irish Civil War were shot, and then on to the sight of the public executions, where prisoners were hanged at the beginning of the Gaol’s colourful history.
Informative, entertaining and sugar-coating nothing, the Kilmainham Gaol exhibit and tour give a sometimes brutal look into Ireland’s turbulent past that never fails to stir the emotions and the imagination.
April to September – 09.30am to 6.00pm
October to March – 09.30am to 5.30pm Mon – Sat 10.00am to 6.00pm Sun
Closed 24th, 25th, 26th December
Admission incl. Guided Tour
Adult – €6.00
Children under 16 & Students – €2.00
Family – €14.00
Credit/Debit cards currently not accepted
Tickets sold on a first come first served basis
Groups of over 10 people must be booked in advance