Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Kilmainham Gaol

 We left early to take the DART to Dublin and from there to take the LUAS closer to where we needed to be, and then we walked. Our group followed the road signs as our directions were not correct, but some other groups didn't and were not able to see the Kilmainham Gaol. We passed some interesting sights like the lovely building above, and the canal below.

We're off to find Kilmainham...

Found it!
 After a struggle to get our tour... we finally entered this Jail. We passed through the room where the leaders of the 1916 Rising were tried.
Kilmainham Jail has been around since the 1700's and has held countless famous political prisoners, but it is most famous for being the place the 1916 Rising rebels spent their last days before they were shot.

Joesph Plunkett is probably one of the most famous of these men. Not really because he was an amazing leader, but because of his tragic story. He was a poet and in love with a woman named Grace. On his final night in the jail, he and Grace were finally married in the chapel in Kilmainham. They were then separated and later given about 10 minutes to say goodbye before he was taken out and shot with the 13 others at dawn.

This song is a tragically sad story of their last night.

Joesph and Grace Plunkett
 The interior of the new part of Kilmainham Gaol was stunning. Far too nice for a jail. It is arranged in a horseshoe shape with solitary cells so that the prisoners were more easily observed.

Spiral stairs
 After Joesph Plunkett had died, Grace was later kept in Kilmainham because of her part in a protest.
We were able to look into the cell she stayed in.
 In this cell, she painted St. Mary on the wall.
 Some of the cells were opened. This is what a cell in the new part of Kilmainham Jail looks like.
 Then we saw what the old part of the jail looked like. It was far lass nice and more typical.

The inside of a cell in the old jail.
 Then we went to the courtyard where the 1916 Rising rebels were shot. The crosses mark the place. The picture with the cross below is where James Connolly was shot. During the Rising, he was shot in his leg and was the only one of the rebels who did not spend his last days in Kilmainham. Instead, he spent his last night in a hospital. He was then carried in on a stretcher and tied to a chair then shot. He was already dying of gangrene.
 Across from the place where James Connolly was shot, is a cross that marks the place where the 13 other men stood before the firing squad and were killed one by one.

 At the time of the Rising, it was probably the most unpopular rising in Irish History. When these rebels were taken away, even the locals were scoffing and spitting on them. This was because the rising took place during World War one when thousands of Irish men were overseas dying.

But the British made a fatal mistake by shooting these 14 rebels. In doing so, they became martyrs. In the course of two months, the support of the Irish had swung behind the Rising, and they were stirred up against the British, and in the following years, Ireland finally shook off the control of England.
 The flag of the Irish Republic now stands in the courtyard of Kilmainham -- the result of what these men died for.
 The symbol of Ireland -- the Irish harp -- is now on the wall in the room where the rebels were tried.
Under the harp is the Gaelic name for Ireland -- Eire.

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