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See Dublin through the eyes of a proud Dubliner

There are many sides to Dublin and even if you’re visiting for only a few days, you’ll probably see them all. Because of the city’s compact size, prosperity and poverty live side by side, especially around the north inner city. However, most Dubliners take a real pride in their city. With good reason, too, as it has so much to offer, from great shopping to world-class galleries and museums. And, ofcourse, a fantastic pub scene.

Kilmainham Gaol (Jail)Sean Munson / CC BY-SA 2.0
Kilmainham Gaol Prison in Dublinrabble / CC BY-SA 2.0
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Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol

Famous The old prison

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Emily Westbrooks

Freelance Writer

One of the best ways to get a handle on the Irish fight for independence, but do bundle up. No matter the time of year, the old prison can be damp and chilly - which makes its history all the more chilling.

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The old prison Editors' Note

Although it ceased to be used as a prison in 1924, Kilmainham Gaol remains the best-known Irish lock-up and one of the most fascinating buildings in the country. It was here that the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, along with many others, were executed.

If you harbour an interest in the 1916 Rising or, indeed, any previous rebellions in Ireland from the 18th century onwards, you’ll find Kilmainham Gaol an awful lot more informative and evocative than the National Museum.

Various multimedia displays documenting the atrocious prison conditions of the past are grimly informative, but it is the lively guided tours that steal the show. Groups are led through the dank corridors, past bleak cells and into the highly evocative main hall (where some of the opening scenes of the original “Italian Job” were filmed).

The sites of various executions, vigils, injustices and condemnations are conjured to vivid life, leaving you with a curious conflict of guilt and relief as you walk back out through the gates and into the free world.

Kilmainham Gaol
2 Inchicore Road, 8 Dublin
01 453 5984
Open (guided tour only) Apr-Sept 9.30am-5pm daily. Oct-Mar 9.30am-4pm Mon-Sat; 10am-5pm Sun.