Kilmainham Gaol used to be a prison during the civil revolution time of Ireland and it held many political leaders that were were incarcerated, tortured and executed. Some of these political leaders were Edward Emmet and Valera. After being set free and becoming president of the Republic of Ireland, Valera returned to the prison in 1966, as it became a museum. I was also amazed to learned that Kilmainham Gaol also held many women who were revolutionaries. During the earlier times that the prison was open there was no heating system. The place felt very cold and dark. I could never imagine myself living there or any other person. The cells were very compact and had a very tiny window.
There was a lot of graffiti in the hallways and I learned that during the earlier times of the prison, rules were not that strict and prisoners could walk into the hallways and mingle with other prisoners. They were also allowed to pain inside their cells and were given paint. It was very interesting to go into a private tour with Niall and being able to see everything that other people can’t see like the cells that had a lot of graffiti in them. They were kind of creepy, but I was curious to see them.
Niall also explained that during the femine a lot of children were put into the jail for petty crimes. A total of 10,000 people passed throughout the jail during the femine. I was shocked when I heard this because I could not believed that the government placed children in prison for committing a small crime, like stealing a piece of bread.
Have you ever visited an old prison? If yes, which one?