Kilmainham Gaol was a place for everyone.
The rich and famous were treated much better than the poor of course. The nationalist politician Charles Stuart Parnell was arrested in 1881 on a charge of sabotaging the Land Act so he did end up in Kilmainham, however, he had a big room to himself with a fireplace and good food...meaning he could literally ask for food from a local restaurant and have it sent to him. He lived comfortably in jail to say the least.
The youngest child to be publicly executed was the age of five. sadly this was not uncommon at the time to have young children in a jail, their sentences could be any where from days to months. One child was in jail for stealing a two leather strips, he got two months in jail and 20 lashes.
Kilmainham was founded in 1796, it's a gaol that is rich with historic events that lead to the irish independence war in 1919-1921. What happened in the Kilmainham that truly pushed the Irish to fight was and is really brutal and unnecessary. It started with the Easter rising and the people (leaders) who put that event together, such as, James Connolly, Patrick Pearse, Joseph Plunkett, John French, Tom Clarke and etc. There were 14 leaders executed in Kilmainham for the Easter Rising. Easter Rising Leaders
|Painting inside of an cell|
|The cross you see is where James Connolly was executed in the stonewall yard|
The research i did, the this name popped up. When i really focused on him the more i wanted to know. James Connolly was truly an inspiring man, he lived and died for what he believed was right. He had no fear. Even though James Connolly was involved with the Irish and he was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising he was actually born in Scotland which was interesting to me. Connolly got severely injured during the fight in Easter Rising to the point where he lost the ability to walk let alone stand, for that reason, he was sent to a hospital in Dublin. There was no doubt what his punishment would be...Connolly was transported from the hospital to the Kilmainham Gaol to be executed by a firing squad. He was put on a stretcher and carried into the courtyard then put on a chair, tied down. James Connolly was buried in a mass grave with no coffin. This killing and the way off the killing outraged the Irish which lead to the independence war. for more on Connolly
I truly enjoyed my experience at the Gaol tour personally because i love hearing about the history, any kind of history. At the end of the tour you can go through the museum where they have personal items of the prisoners such as goodbye letters from the many who were sentence to death including the leaders of the easter rising. It's truly moving to read...i think if you are like me (love of history) this is someplace you really need to visit!