One of the largest unoccupied gaols in Europe, Kilmainham Gaol is one of Dublin’s most popular tourist attractions. If you are interested in learning about Irish history, and in particular, England’s previous rule of the country, a visit to Kilmainham Gaol is an absolute must as it tells a simple and amazing story of Irish history.
The Story Behind the Goal
The prison was at the centre of many of the most heroic and indeed tragic events that took place in Ireland from the late 1700’s until its closure in 1924. It played a major role during English rule as many leaders of the various uprisings over the years were confined here. After the infamous 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland, where Irish republicans fought one of the major uprising battles of all time against the English, many of the uprising leaders were confined and executed at Kilmainham Gaol.
The Stone Cutter’s Yard, where the uprising leaders were executed for treason, is one of the most eye-opening things that you’ll see in all of the country. It is strange to think how one small yard plays such an important role in the history of Ireland. Visitors say that standing there and thinking about what the Irish people went through in their struggle for independence is something to be remembered.
It is not all doom and gloom at Kilmainham Gaol though! The building is very well preserved and it houses several attractions including a major exhibition detailing the political and penal history of the gaol and its subsequent restoration.
Why visit Kilmainham Gaol?
- The tours are very detailed and informative – you would be amazed how many stories and facts the guide can present you with during the course of the tour. It’s a great way to learn about Irish history, and in particular, the periods of British rule and republican rebellion.
- A tour of the gaol is very inexpensive and given the history and sheer cultural learning that’s there to be explored, it’s a tour that’s not to be missed.
- As it plays such a monumental part in Irish history, Kilmainham Gaol is not only one of the most famous tourist attractions in Dublin, but it’s one of the most renowned in the entire country of Ireland.
A tour of Kilmainham Gaol will take you through hundreds of years of Irish history and you’ll learn about the gaol’s most notable inmates and events. You’ll learn that some of the former inmates certainly had very colourful lives and personalities! Your tour guide will bring this old prison to life. You can expect to be provided with a wealth of information about each area of the gaol so that you can appreciate the importance of Kilmainham Gaol as a historical entity in Ireland.
Visiting the prison is an educational and inspirational experience, and one that you are sure to never forget. So popular are the tours of Kilmainham Gaol that you need to book your spot well in advance to secure a date and time that suits you. You can only visit Kilmainham Gaol as part of a guided tour.