Visit the eerie Kilmainham Gaol and discover the dark history of Dublin in this huge museum. Opened in 1796 and closed in 1924, Kilmainham Gaol has housed some of the country’s most notorious criminals over the centuries, so prepare for a fascinating tour through this vast, ghostly prison.
Your tour of the prison begins with a multimedia introduction before walking through the building with your group and a knowledgeable guide. With more than 10,000 artefacts including photos, newspapers and personal possessions, you’ll find out about the people imprisoned during the Irish Civil War and city rebellions over the decades. Discover who was executed at the gaol, and hear the stories of petty criminals, including women and children jailed for stealing food, who were held alongside murderers and gang leaders.
As the biggest unoccupied building of its kind in all of Europe, Kilmainham Gaol is a haunting place to visit. As you walk through the corridors and see the cells, it’s easy to imagine what life would have been like here for the prisoners. On your guided tour, you’ll find out more about the prison’s most famous prisoners, including Robert Emmet, Charles Stewart Parnell and Eamon de Valera. There’s a great exhibition on the Irish Revolution between 1916 and 1923, so take your time as you browse the collection, which includes weaponry used by the rebellion.
At the end of your tour, you’ll visit the yard where executions took place in the early 19th century. After your visit, go and look around the Asgard, a British ship outside the gaol, which was used to deliver weapons to the Nationalist movement in 1914.