Ireland 1912-1921 Struggle for Home Rule
Killmainham Gaol is the site of an old prison in Kilmainham, Dublin, which has in recent years become a museum explaining the history of the site. This prison has served a major role in Irish history, especially with the twentieth century, because many of the inmates were leading figures in the 1916 rebellion that were imprisoned by the British and again in 1923 by the Irish Free State. In 1916, various rebel groups began a long struggle of resisting the rule of the British Crown. 1916 was seen a great time to revolt against the crown because England was very busy dealing with World War I that the Irish could create a surprise attack that would, they hoped, result in home rule and an end to the colonization of the British Crown. Killmainham Gaol has notoriously been known for its inhumane treatment of prisoners and in 1924 the jail was closed. Starting in the 1950’s, a movement was started that aimed to restore and preserve the Killmainham Gaol and has been open to the public for viewing and learning since the 1970’s. Exploring the museum and the jail itself was a very interesting experience. We were able to see the cells of some of the leading figures of the 1916 Rebellion, along with the shoot yard where prisoners were executed. It was amazing just home preserved the jail was and how much work had gone into restoring this and creating a lasting historical site for future generations to understand the atrocities that occurred here.