Ireland: Dublin – Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol is a prison in Dublin. Well, a former prison with a lot of history. The jail itself goes back to 1796, built on the orders of the British to solve the overcrowding prison situation and allow one prisoner per cell for better correctional outcome. Prisoners would come here for every possible crime, even minor – the youngest prisoner was only 7 years old, arrested for petty theft. It was here that more severe offenders awaited deportation to Australia to serve their sentence (a journey usually requiring 1-2 years of waiting in this jail and then up to a year on the ship – and none of this counted toward the term to be served). In early 18-20th centuries, the prison became the location for incarceration of many of the political prisoners, and in particular leaders of the Irish inference movement and civil war rebels. The majority of the Irish leaders in the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867, 1916 were imprisoned here and thus the Kilmainham Gaol is an omni-important monument from the nationalist Irish perspective.