On Tuesday Transition Year students visited Kilmainham Gaol and the War Memorial Gardens. Kilmainham Gaol opened in 1796 as the new County Gaol for Dublin. It closed its doors in 1924.
Leaders of the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848,1867 and 1916 were detained and in some cases executed here. Names such as Henry Joy McCracken, Robert Emmet, Anne Devlin, Charles Stewart Parnell and the leaders of 1916 will always be associated with the building.
It should not be forgotten however that, as a county gaol, Kilmainham held thousands of ordinary men, women and children. Their crimes ranged from petty offences such as stealing food to more serious crimes such as murder or rape. Convicts from many parts of Ireland were held here for long periods waiting to be transported to Australia.
As always, the visit to Kilmainham Gaol was a huge hit with the TY students.