The Kilmainham Gaol Museum was a former prison. Take a tour of the west wing built in 1796, the east wing from the 1860’s and the Stonebreakers Yard used for hard labor.
“Today the building symbolizes the tradition of militant and constitutional nationalism from the rebellion of 1798 to the Irish Civil War of 1922-23. Leaders of the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848,1867 and 1916 were detained and in some cases executed here. Many members of the Irish Republican movement during the Anglo-Irish War (1919-21) were also detained in Kilmainham Gaol, guarded by British troops. Names such as Henry Joy McCracken, Robert Emmet, Anne Devlin, Charles Stewart Parnell and the leaders of 1916 will always be associated with the building. It should not be forgotten however that, as a county gaol, Kilmainham held thousands of ordinary men, women and children. Their crimes ranged from petty offenses such as stealing food to more serious crimes such as murder or rape. Convicts from many parts of Ireland were held here for long periods waiting to be transported to Australia. Kilmainham Gaol Museum is operated and managed by the Office of Public Works” Kilmainham Gaol Museum website.
Kilmainham Court 1883
Crown from the Royal Coat of Arms, Kilmainham Courthouse
“This stone crown would originally have formed part of the Royal Coat of Arms, the heraldic symbol of the British monarchy.”
Ernie O’Malley 1897-1957
Helen Huntington Hooker 1905-1993
An important IRA commandant during the War of Independence, O’Malley was imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol in 1921. He escaped with two other republican inmates. His American wife Helen sculpted this bust.
“The First meeting of the First Dail, 21 January 1919. Only twenty seven of Sinn Fein’s seventy three members were able to attend. Of those absent, thirty four were still in prison”
Joseph Mary Plunkett Nov 1887-May 1916 he was a member of the IRB Military Committee that planned the Easter Rising which was launched by Irish Republicans to put an end to British rule and attempt to establish an independent Irish Republic. He was held in Kilmainham Gaol. Seven hours before his execution by firing squad he was married to Grace Gifford.
Grace Gifford Plunkett March 1888-Dec 1955 was active in the Republican movement and arrested in 1923 and kept at Killmainham Gaol for three months. She did the painting on the wall.
Fourteen leaders of the Easter Rising were executed 1916 in the Stonebreakers Yard.