Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kilmainham Gaol (Jail)

Dear Connor, This had better be the only time I see or hear of you being behind bars! We visited the Kilmainham Gaol (Jail) in Dublin. This historic site was opened in 1796 as both the Dublin County Jail and a debtors' prison, it was considered a model in its day. In reality, this jail was frequently used by the British as a political prison. Many of those who fought for Irish independence were held or executed here, including leaders of many famous rebellions (Rick Steves).
The jail is located on the outskirts of town and I was skeptical at first. I mean how interesting can a jail be? Well it really was fun. I thought the 60 minute guided tour could have been a tad shorter, but that was probably because I was with "Hurricane Connor" who wanted to explore every old, rusty nook and cranny rather than intently listening.
Our favorite part was near the end where our guide took us to the main cell room. They gave us a few minutes to take photos, or as Connor translated it - for free play. She ran in and out of what must have been 20 different cells. She would run to the back wall, jump on the bench and then out she came. I never thought of an empty, unlocked jail being sort of like a big playspace, but it kinda was. A time for running and freedom (ironic, I know!) and also a time for bestowing lots of kisses and giggles on Daddy!

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