The Spirits of Kilminham Jail

24 Jul

Kilmanham Jail; this landmark was a once in a life experience. As a person who grew up in the suburbs of a small town, I don’t experience too many crimes and I have definitely never visited a jail structure before Kilmanham jail has had a significant role in the peace and reconciliation process in Ireland’s history. This prison gave me an eerie feeling as we stepped from room to room. When the prison was first created, it was known for its public hangings outside the building. However, because public hangings became similar to a sporting event, where the locals would come and cheer on the hanging that the procedure had to be changed. Eventually, they made all hangings and executions private within the cell walls. Kilmanham Jail was important because it held some of the most important people who fought for Ireland’s independence. Several leaders from the 1916 Easter Rising were executed here. Some of the famous prisoners were Padraig Pearse, Joseph Plunkett and Thomas Clarke. The jail was officially closed in 1924 by the government, when Ireland was declared a free state. As a result of the new treaty, the remaining prisoners were released. This experience was unlike any other landmark I had ever been able to visit. I respect all those who put their lives on the line in order to fight for their countries belief. We were able to learn about the past and also understand the huge impact the treaty has had on the jail.  Historically, this was an important landmark because it allowed me to have a small understanding of how the prisoners felt as they awaited execution. On our last part of the tour we were placed in the small room that prisoners were held in before execution. As we left, I sent my prayers to those who had suffered in the prison and thanked them for this opportunity to visit the Kilmanham Jail. ImageImageImage

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