For all you history nerds who are just like myself and are visiting Ireland at some stage or another in your life. You need to visit Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin. This place is a huge part of Irish and English history. I believe everyone who comes to Ireland or lives in Ireland should learn about this history. This part of history shaped the way Ireland is today.
I have been here twice and absolutely loved both visits so so much.
The first time I went to Kilmainham Gaol with my friend who travelled from England to come see me and we went here together to experience this place together as it’s a huge part of both our countries history.
Unless you are Irish or have a huge interest in Irish history you most likely don’t have much knowledge of Irish history because schools don’t teach this part of history except Irish schools. My friend from England had no idea about any of this part of history because it was never taught in schools.
I’ll give you guys a brief background into this topic to get you all interested in it to come and visit Dublin to visit this amazing place. For 700 years the British Empire ruled Ireland and supressed the Irish for hundreds of years and squashed any chance of an independent state by defeating any chance of an Irish revolution.
In the early 1900’s everything changed. The 1916 Easter Rising was a huge turning point for the independence of the country. A group of men had decided to stand up, get a following of people and fighting for the countries freedom. This place is where a few of these strong, brave, men took their last breathes for their country. Kilmainham Gaol is a huge symbol of Irish independence.
Now here are the five reasons why everyone should visit Kilmainham Gaol:
- Access to this place is very cheap and affordable for anyone to get into this amazing, historical building. If you book your tickets online you can purchase your tickets as follows
You can also buy your tickets walking into the Gaol but watch out! Tours can be booked up because this place holds a huge interest to many people so I suggest buying them online! You save money and you have booked your place in advance so there is no sad faces when you turn up and the tours are booked up! But here are the prices for a walk in purchase of tickets.
- The second reason you should visit Kilmainham is because of the great preservation of the buildings. The whole prison is practically still all intact. You can walk inside the prison cells, go into the hangmans office and other rooms throughout the prison. You can even enter the main hall that held the most prison cells in the whole prison and where the majority of women stayed during their prison sentence. This main hall was also used to film scenes from the movie “ In the name of the father “. There are still carvings and paintings on the walls that the women created during their stay. From these you can see their belief in Irish Independence was still so strong even though they were being punished for that such belief.
- As this Gaol is full of Irish history, students in school have to learn about this place but not many tend to enjoy Irish history. For some strange reason because I love it! Maybe its just the history nerd in me that brings it out! I recommend that anyone doing their Leaving Cert and planning on studying history that you visit this place because you learn a lot that is not in our history books. As I’ve previously mentioned I have been here twice, once with my friend from England who visited me and the second time was with my history class. The great thing was that the tour was free for us through heritage Ireland. All we had to do was pay for the bus to and from there and money for food and well try not to get lost when our teacher let us loose after the tour! Even though we lost a classmate for about a half hour in the museum so we had to go search for her before we could go eat. It was very entertaining!
- Speaking of the museum. This is another reason why you should visit Kilmainham Gaol. This museum is a two story building full of primary artefacts that belonged to people who were imprisoned there and many things that have been donated by family members who wanted to showcase their families history involved in this time. You can view letters these men wrote to their loved ones before their execution. Visit the courtyard where these men were shot dead by a firing squad. You can see personal items these men owned and many other artefacts throughout the museum.
- And now last but not least the final reason why I believe you guys should go to Kilmainham Gaol. The tour guides! They are absolutely amazing and so so enthusiastic about their jobs informing people of our history. They answer each question you to the best of their ability. If they don’t have the answer they point you in the direction of the answer if they don’t know the answer. I always find that tours are always more fun and enjoyable when you have a really good guide and this place is full of them!
So guys those are my five reasons why you should visit Kilmainham Gaol. These five reasons should convince you that you NEED to visit this amazing historical place if you’re a history buff like me! If you aren’t then this place might not be on your to do list but you never know! Give it a try and you might love it. I really hope you do but history isn’t for everyone!