Kilmainham Gaol is a former prison in the Kilmainham district (Cill Mhaighneann) in Dublin (Baile Átha Cliatha), Ireland. Built on the model of the panoptic, the prison, now disused, has become a museum. She also served as a set during the filming of a number of films.
When it came into operation in 1796, it was called "New Prison," to differentiate it from the old one - located in a dungeon, not far from it - which it was to replace. During the 128 years that she served, Kilmainham Prison has played an important role in the history of Ireland. There were detained not only ordinary prisoners, men, women and children, but also political prisoners.
Although it was modern for its time, the oldest part of the prison, known as the west wing, remained during its first fifty years of activity without windows to windows and light. Place of detention is also a place of execution of capital punishment and deportation to Australia. The last public execution by hanging took place in 1865 and some 4,000 prisoners transited there before their deportation during the first half of the nineteenth century.
The prison was decommissioned in 1924, at the end of the war, by the Irish Free State. The last prisoner to leave prison is Eamon de Valera, future president of Ireland. Abandoned for many years, the prison was restored from the 1960s by a committee of volunteers to become, thirty years later, a museum of the history of Irish nationalism. Guided tours are organized.