In Pictures: Kilmainham Gaol

Mondays have taken on a recent tradition of visits to various historical sites around Dublin by Pamela and I in pursuit of ideas for my new book on Dublin in the Revolutionary period. Today, it was off to Kilmainham Gaol. I’ve been on several occasions previously, always with students in tow. And while I really enjoy getting to know my students better outside the classroom in the more relaxed environs of field trips, I was looking forward to enjoying the experience without having to keep a watchful eye over my group. Most particularly, I was keen to hear about Frank Teeling’s break from the Gaol: Teeling, who was sentenced to death for his part in Bloody Sunday of 1920, is my God-father’s uncle. Unfortunately, while reference was made to the escape of three prisoners, Teeling, Ernie O’Malley and Simon Donnelly were never actually named in this particular tour. Unlike recent tours of the Dublin Tenement Experience and Glasnevin Cemetery, I have very little to say about today’s. It was rushed, familiar, simplistic (perhaps understandably so), although I do commend the organising staff for moving the long queue for tickets so efficiently and swiftly, and in a very friendly manner.  In contrast to my previous research posts, what follows is simply some of the photos I took today.

Entrance fee: €6
Entrance fee: €6
Plaque above door to Emmet's Cell
Plaque above door to Emmet’s Cell
The men of 1916 sought to write Emmet’s unwritten epitaph
Original copy of the proclamation. On display in the museum.
Original copy of the proclamation.
On display in the museum.
Chapel where Joseph Plunkett married Grace Gifford hours before he was executed
Chapel where Joseph Plunkett married Grace Gifford hours before he was executed
Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 22.35.58
‘Mrs Joseph Plunkett, 1923’
Grace Gifford – an anti-Treatyite – was later interned in the Gaol
'Madonna and Child' Painting by Grace Gifford on the wall of her cell
‘Madonna and Child’
Painting by Grace Gifford on the wall of her cell
The most recognisable part of the Gaol: used in a myriad of films, including 'Michael Collins'.
The most recognisable part of the Gaol: used in a myriad of films, including ‘Michael Collins’.
View of the cells on the upper level
View of the cells on the upper level
One of the cells
One of the cells
A cross marks the spot where 13 of the men were executed in 1916
A cross marks the spot where 13 of the men were executed in 1916
Cross marking the place where a seriously James Connolly, who had been brought back to the Gaol through the door to the side, was tied to a chair to face the firing squad
A second cross marking the place where a seriously injured James Connolly, who had been brought to the Gaol through the door to the side, was tied to a chair to face the firing squad.
Plaque commemorating the 14 men executed in 1916 under General Maxwell's orders
Plaque commemorating the 14 men executed in 1916 under General Maxwell’s orders
A tricolour flies beside the plaque
A tricolour flies beside the plaque
Plaque commemorating the last four prisoners to be executed in the Gaol before its closure.
Plaque commemorating the last four prisoners to be executed in the Gaol before its closure.

You can read the previous two posts relating to my Dublin-research for the new book below:

1. Living in the Shadow of History: Swords

2. Glasnevin Cemetery: Where the Stories of the Ordinary and the Powerful Interwine

All images are author’s own, photographed at source.

Published by Dr Ciara Meehan

I am Head of History and Reader in History at the University of Hertfordshire. I am the author of 'The Cosgrave Party: a History of Cumann na nGaedheal, 1923-1933' (Royal Irish Academy, 2010) and 'A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-1987' (Palgrave, 2013). I also co-edited 'A Formative Decade: Ireland in the 1920s' (Irish Academic Press, 2015) and 'Perceptions of Pregnancy from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century' (Palgrave, 2017).

2 thoughts on “In Pictures: Kilmainham Gaol

  1. Aw Ciara sorry I missed your tour to the gaol, you could have experienced another one of my tours! You’re right about being rushed, unfortunately this time of year, we’re constantly under pressure to get the tour back on time, with the queues outside, but it means any questions or dawlding by the group can cause you to have to drop things to pick up time! And there is so much history there! (Though I would have mentioned Teeling-promise!)

    Hope move goes well and best of luck with the new venture!x

    1. Awh, sorry to have missed you!

      Must say, I was very impressed with how quickly the line moves. When we arrived, it was out the gate, but we were waiting less than 15 minutes.

      Have you moved yet?

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