Kilmainham Gaol


The first thing we did was take a bus into town to get to Kilmainham Gaol. It took us about forty minutes to arrive there and from there we went to Imma Gardens to eat our lunch. Once we entered the gardens we walked up a nice gravel path in the garden. There were many trees and statues along the way. After walking up the path we found a nice little wall for us to sit on and eat. Once everybody ate their lunch we took a small walk down to another section of the garden.


This new section was a small walled garden area, in this space there were many hedges, flowers and also a small castle was at the end of it. When we got there, there were a few things we were able to do. Some people chose to play football while others ran around the hedges chasing each other and some people took the calmer option and sat down and enjoyed the garden.


After a while we left the garden, went back up the big gravel path and headed for Kilmainham Gaol. When we were outside we were led into a room. This room was an old court room, the room had chairs all around the sides and in the middle there was a box with a chair on top of it where the criminal would be placed.


The first place we went to was the church where Grace and Joseph got married. There were a few rows of chairs and an altar in the middle of the room where they got married. Joseph was executed only a few hours after getting married and before that Grace and him only got fifteen minutes together which in that time they didn’t say a word to each other.


The next place we went in Kilmainham was a corridor with only about five cells, this corridor was the first corridor built in the entire gaol. While standing in the corridor we were told at least a few hundred people were staying in this corridor at some point in time, they said about seven people would stay in a cell and the rest were crammed into the corridor.


Next we went to the place where all the people on death row were held before their execution. In this area we saw Padraig Pearse, Joseph Plunkett and many others’ cells. We then made our way down some steep stairs to go to the east wing.


The east wing is the largest area in the prison and it held many big names like Eamon De Valera and Grace Gifford. There were many things in the east wing, underneath there was the kitchen and on the other side there was a punishment room which was a pitch black room where prisoners were held for hours and sometimes even days.


One of the last places we went was the courtyard where prisoners had to work and many were executed. Once out in the yard we did a punishment which prisoners had to do everyday for hours on end. They had to look down at each other’s ankles and walk in a circle. If they lifted their heads they were beaten by the guards. After we entered the execution yard this is were the leaders of the Rising and many other prisoners were executed. We learned about James Connolly’s unique death where he was strapped to a chair as he was unable to stand by himself.


The last place we went to was the museum. We saw many things like the ring Grace Gifford and Joseph got married with, some of the leaders personal belongings, clothes and other things from 1916 and before .After this we headed back to the school.