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Kilmainham Gaol

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HISTORY

Formerly, a prison located near Dublin, Ireland. When it was built in 1796, it was called “New Gaol”, to distinguish it from the pre-existing prison. It was deactivated in 1924 and is one of the largest unoccupied prisons in Europe. There were up to five people in each cell (measuring about 28 square meters), with a single candle that served both to light and to heat. So they spent most of the time in the cold and in the dark, as each candle had to last for two weeks.

 

WHY THIS PLACE

Many Irish revolutionaries, including the leaders of the 1916 Easter Uprising, were imprisoned and executed by the British in this prison, which is why it now hosts a museum, administered by the government agency Office of Public Works, on the History of Irish Nationalism . An art gallery on the top floor displays paintings, sculptures and jewelry created by prisoners who currently serve time in various prisons across Ireland.

CURIOSITIES

Several films were shot at Kilmainham Prison, among them:

• A Master's Outing - 1969
• The Mackintosh Emissary -1973
• The WhistleBlower -1987 (with Michael Cane and James Fox)
• Anxiety to Live - 1992 (with John Goodman)
• In the Name of the Father - 1993 (for which Daniel Day-Lewis won an Oscar for Best Actor)
• Michael Collins - 1996
• The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones - 2000
• Winds of Freedom - 2006
• The Escapist - 2008 (starring Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Seu Jorge, Liam Cunningham and Damian Lewis)

The music video for the band U2 "A Celebration" was also filmed in this prison in July 1982.

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