|New cell block.|
Access to the Goal is by guided tour only. Visitors can take in the museum which chronicles the history of the Goal, Irish social movements, and Irish political history while they wait for their guided tour to leave. The museum also includes a small section on the Goal's restoration and community support for the restoration project.
The walking tour of the former jail was extremely well done. The tour began with an audio-visual
Throughout the tour different cells, rooms, and former prisoners were mentioned and connected to the history of Ireland's struggle for independence. From the opening in 1796 until the closing in 1924 many notable Irish nationalist leaders were incarcerated in Kilmainham and a handful of them were hanged on site. The tour highlights the role the Goal played in the Irish rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1967, 1916, and the Irish War of Independence. The tour guide did an excellent job of explaining aspects of Irish history that many visitors may not be knowledgeable about. The tour also includes the opportunity to stand inside cells, visit the dead-man's row style room, and learn about developments in prison architecture.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Kilmainham Goal. It's a bit of a walk from the Dublin city center but is well worth the trek. The Goal is also right near the old Kilmainham Hospital which has beautiful grounds and now houses the Irish Museum of Modern Art.
Photograph credit: Andrew MacKay