Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kilmainham Gaol

Yesterday I went to Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, an old jail that is now a historical museum. It was a phenomenal lesson in history, especially that of Irish resistance to British rule, and the terrible treatment of the Irish poor over the decades. I've decided to let the photos mostly speak for themselves (I couldn't resist short captions).

The view of the inside of a cell. At times of great social turmoil (e.g. the potato famine) and/or political unrest (e.g. the many Irish rebellions), prisoners were often 4-5 to a cell, 22-24 hours a day.

Behind this door 14 leaders of the Irish rebellion of 1916 were executed by the British. This turned public opinion around to the side of the rebels, paving the way for Irish independence 5 years later.

The courtyard beyond the doors was where child prisoners went out to spend their 1-2 hours of outdoor time a day in silence. Prisoners as young as 7 spent time at Kilmainhaim, often for petty theft.


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