Welcome to Kilmainham Gaol Museum
For over 100 years Kilmainham Gaol held thousands of men, women and children for crimes that ranged from minor offences to being involved in some of the most momentous events in Irish history
A visit to Kilmainham Gaol will take you on a journey through Irish history. You will discover the stories of people held here as ordinary criminals alongside those who fought for Irish independence. From the 1798 rebellion, to the 1916 Easter Rising, the Anglo-Irish War (1919-21), to the devastation of the Irish Civil War (1922-23) all these important events have a chapter in the story of Kilmainham Gaol.
Visiting Kilmainham Gaol
Access to the Gaol is by guided tour only, so to avoid disappointment we recommend that you pre-book your ticket. If your preferred time or date is not available, check our website from 9.15am on the day you wish to visit for cancelations and any additional tickets that may become available for the day. You should allow approximately 90 minutes for your visit. Your tour will last for 1 hour, and you will also have access to our museum.
The Gaol is an historic building, with some accessibility challenges, so wheelchair users or visitors who require special assistance should get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org in advance of booking your ticket and we can make appropriate arrangements for your visit.
If you would like to book a school visit, all the information you need is on our education page.
Group bookings of ten or more are subject to availability. You can email email@example.com to enquire further.
Partial Closure of Kilmainham Gaol
The Victorian East Wing of the Gaol (pictured at the top of the page), will be closed to visitors from Monday 30 October to Friday 3 November 2023. Admission during this time will include a guided tour of the West Wing of the Gaol, the chapel and the prison yards.
Tickets must be pre-booked online.
Closure of Kilmainham Gaol
Kilmainham Gaol will be closed to visitors on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th November 2023.
From Prison to National Monument
Kilmainham Gaol opened in 1796 as the new County Gaol for Dublin. While most of the prisoners were common criminals, it also held political prisoners involved in Ireland’s struggle for independence. Included amongst those held here were Robert Emmet, Anne Devlin, the Fenians, Charles Stewart Parnell, Countess Markievicz and the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, 14 of whom were executed by firing squad in the Stonebreaker’s yard. The Gaol was closed in 1924 but was preserved as a national monument in the 1960s and restored by the Kilmainham Gaol Restoration Committee. It was handed over to the State in 1986 and today is run by the Office of Public Works.
With so many stories to tell at Kilmainham Gaol we regularly host temporary exhibitions.
Our current exhibition is “‘hearts ne’er waver’: The Women Prisoners of the Irish Civil War”. It runs in parallel with “Voices”, an exhibition by artist Margo McNulty inspired by the Civil War women prisoners.
Free admission to the exhibition.
Full captions and copyright information for all images can be found in the Galleries. If you would like to use any of the images you see on this website, please contact us.
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