Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ireland, Day 18: Dublin - Kilmainham Gaol and Temple Bar

Today is our last day in Dublin (and Ireland, for that matter), so we took things a bit easy. Our only stop for the day was a trip ti Kilmainham Gaol (Príosún Chill Mhaighneann), which was first built in 1796; it was called the "New Gaol" to distinguish it from the old jail a few hundred yards from the present site that it was intended to replace. It was officially called the County of Dublin Gaol, and was originally run by the Grand Jury for County Dublin.

The only way to actually look around the Gaol is to be part of a tour, for which we waited two hours; fortunately, there's a museum inside, where we learned about crime of the 19th century; the capital punishment that occurred with the Gaol; the Great Famine (and how that affected crime); mugshots; separate confinement; etc.

Once the tour started, the guide told us about the history of the Gaol and how the prisoners were treated; he spoke to the differences in prison sentences, and that the majority of the prisoners were not political prisons vis-a-vis the Rebellion, etc. We got to see many of the cells, and even look inside some of them.This was one of the cells in the west wing section of the Gaol.

From Ireland (2015)

The East Wing of the Gaol was about 60 or so years younger than the rest of the Gaol, was architecturally different, and seemingly better cared for.

From Ireland (2015)

The cells in this wing also had a different feel and look to them.

From Ireland (2015)

After our tour, we explored Temple Bar, an area on the south bank of the River Liffey. The historic name of the district was not Temple Bar but St. Andrews Parish, and had been a suburb of medieval (Anglo-Norman) Dublin, located outside the city walls, but it fell into disuse beginning in the 1300s because the land was exposed to attacks by the native Irish. The land was redeveloped again in the 1600s, to create gardens for the houses of wealthy English families. It's definitely touristy, but wasn't a bad way to end our time here in Dublin.
One of the things Ed had wanted to do was to listen to some traditional Irish music at a pub, which until tonight we didn't get to do. Wandering around Temple Bar, we did come across some good live music. 

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