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Kilmainham Gaol photo

Kilmainham Gaol (Jail)
The Jail was built in 1796 and was in use until 1924. In 1861 a new East wing was added with features of Victorian design. All cell doors faced into a single vaulted space, cell doors had a spyhole and cells had windows set just below the ceiling (to direct the prisoners gaze upwards towards the heavens and salvation). A glass canopy over the main concourse allowed the area to be flooded with light (picture #8). The Victorian thinking was that this would allow the prisoners to be reformed by the light and its purifying powers. On the eve of their executions the leaders of the Easter Rising were taken to Kilmainham Jail to spend their last hours. At the hour of their execution, they were taken to the courtyard and shot. The cross barely discernible at the end of the courtyard marks the place where they met their death. (picture 9).


Kilmainham Gaol photo


Submitted by Corky ©1998


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