SMR No.: DU018-125----
Monument Type: Prison
Opened in 1796 as the County Gaol for Dublin, Kilmainham Gaol has, at crucial moments, held within its walls most of the key personalities involved in the struggle for Irish independence
The spectacular east wing, providing an extra 96 cells, opened in 1862. It is typical of the Victorian belief that prison architecture was crucial to the reform of inmates.
During this period the gaol was run on the principles of silence and separation. Communication between prisoners was forbidden and they spent much of the time alone in their cells. The prison authorities hoped that they would use this time to read the Bible, contemplate and repent their crimes.