When I was standing outside in an absurdly long queue in the frigid cold to buy a ticket for the Kilmainham Gaol I didn’t expect to have such an appreciation for the experience I was about to have. It’s one thing to hear about history, to see photos on a projected screen and be told what they mean. Although seeing it with my own eyes, feeling the cold of the cells that held so many of the characters that shaped the 1916 Easter Rising, that is an overwhelming experience. Being able to touch, feel, and retrace the past is an inconceivable feeling, to think it was only a 100 years ago and would alter the course of Irelands history forever. I felt a lot of heavy emotions passing through me coming from Irish heritage involved with the rising (Thomas Ashe), pride, sorrow, awe and a sense of realness. It was a palpable sense of history, of all that had happened, to see where they died, where they slept, where they met their end during the fight for Irelands freedom. While walking through the Gaol I really felt empowered to take it all in, to understand with the utmost clarity the significance it had in not only Irish history, but it’s very recent history. Not many times in a countries past century can an outsider see the traces of the historical events that has led to shaping it into what we see as so normal and regular nowadays. It was exactly what I would think of seeing history in the making, having that connection of understanding the past and how it has touched the future, our present.