Several friends, upon hearing we were visiting Dublin, advised that we make time for a tour of Kilmainham Gaol (Jail), and I am so glad we did. It was a lengthy tour, but our guide was fantastic (she packed an impressive amount of information into a 50-minute window of time — with a terrific accent, of course!), and we came away with a taste of just a small fragment of Ireland’s fascinating and sometimes tragic history.“Opened in 1796 as the County Gaol for Dublin, Kilmainham Gaol has, at crucial moments, held within its walls most of the key personalities involved in the struggle for Irish independence.” (source) The fight for Irish independence has been long and bloody, and Kilmainham encapsulates a bird’s eye view of the struggles that have occurred over the centuries. Sadly, the main East Wing was closed to visitors due to building works / renovation, which was a disappointment!
Wandering through the narrow halls and peering in at tiny stone cells, I realized how little I know about Irish history, and it made me want to dive in and study more when we returned home. Anyone have recommendations for good books on Irish history?!Kilmainham Gaol has been the site of a number of crucial events in Ireland’s history, and the fascinating tour should not be missed!