Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol was built 1790's to replace a jail  that had stood close by and it was originally known as county of Dublin Gaol. Its 128 year life played a central role in Irish History as it was the place that the leaders of the various risings were jailed. More importantly it was the site where the leaders of the 1916 rising were jailed, executed and buries in a mass grave, this act galvanised the opinions of the people against the English (see the last picture). It is the largest unoccupied prison in Europe, and was restored by volunteers until the government took over its restoration and upkeep
The front entrance to the Gaol with the sculpture know as 'the five Devils of Kilmainham'.
"Beware of the risen people
Have harried and held Ye that have bullied and bribed"

The Victorian prison, which ye might recognise from films such as The Quare Fellow, The Face of Fu Manchu, The Italian Job, The Mackintosh Man, The Last Remake of Beau Geste, The Whistle Blower, In the Name of the Father, Michael Collins,The Escapist

Carved above the doors are troop numbers and political slogans such as below, "No Surrender"

But as usual there is always one comedian, "TO LET"
The Madonna and child painted by one of the female leaders of the rising Grace Gifford. She married fellow leader Joseph Mary Plunkett before he was executed, they got to spent a romantic hour in one of the cells under the watch of an armed British Soldier!
"The joy of Spring leaps from your eyes, The strength of dragons in your hair,
In your young soul we still surprise The secret wisdom flowing there"
From To Grace Joseph Mary Plunkett

The outside of the Prison see a little Norwegian friend taking pictures.

This is the spot where between the 3rd and the 12th of May where the following were shot in the stone breakers yard, 
Padraic Pearce, Thomas J.Clarke, Thomas McDonagh, Joseph Plunkett, Edward Daly,Michael O'Hanrahan, William Pearce, Con Colbert, Eamonn Ceant, Michael Mallin, Sean Heuston, Sean MacDiarmada.

On the opposite side of the yard on May 12th May 1916, a military ambulance carried the badly wounded James Connolly up to the side gate. He was carried in on stretcher and had to be tied to a chair to keep him upright, so he could be shot. This was the straw that broke the camels back, the Irish who had shown little interest in rising were disgusted at the executions up to this, but the nature of Connolly's execution was a turning point.

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