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Kilmainham Gaol

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West of Dublin’s city centre, south of Phoenix Park, you can walk through some of Ireland’s dark history by visiting the Kilmainham Gaol. It is today one of the largest unoccupied jails in Europe.

Built in 1792, Kilmainham was opened in 1796 as Dublin’s county gaol. This jail is famous for being the place of detention of many Irish rebels. The leaders of those rebellions were jailed and sometimes executed in this very location.

More recently, members of the Irish Republican movement were detained at Kilmainham during the Anglo-Irish War of 1919-1921. At the time, the prison was guarded by British troops.

The gaol also housed ordinary people, men, women and children alike, whose crimes ranged from petty offences to murder. Many convicts were held here before being transported to Australia.

Kilmainham Gaol now houses a museum that retells the stories of its convicts and delves into the events that lead Ireland to become a modern nation.  

You can only visit as part of a guided tour. Entrance fee is required and advance booking is essential to guarantee entry.

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