Kilmainham Gaol

As promised, there was no class this morning, so not only did I get to sleep in past 6am, I got to go running for the first time since I was sick. It wasn’t pretty, but it felt good to hit the pavement again. I spent the rest of the morning doing nothing of any real interest, unless eating toast is considered interesting.

It is...the most interesting toast in the world.

In the early afternoon I went with Kelsey, Libby, and Danielle into Dublin where we met up with Anders (who had to go early to feed his Subway addiction) with the intent of going to Kilmainham Gaol. We boarded the 69A bus, which according to the website for Kilmainham would take us where we needed to go; however, it did not and we ended up in the middle of nowhere someplace south west of the Liffey. Luckily we had a very helpful bus driver who drove us out of his way back to the street we needed to get to (on an out of service bus, no less). Chalk up another point for the Dublin Public Transportation system.

Fleet of Angels

Once we finally got to Kilmainham, we got a chance to check out their museum before going on the tour. Kilmainham Gaol is a historical prison that opened in Dublin in 1796, and abandoned in 1924. In the 128 years it served as Dublin’s main prison it held many of the famous leaders in the various fights for Irish independence from the British, including the leaders of the 1916 Easter uprising, as well as thousands of men, women, and children who were incarcerated for various crimes.

Voted "Happiest Place in Ireland" during the 1860 potato famine.

By 1960 the building had been abandoned for nearly 40 years and had fallen to complete ruin. The Kilmainham Jail Restoration Society was formed in order to restore it as a memorial to the struggle for Irish independence. In order to raise money to restore it, the society allowed movie makers inside to film. There have been dozens of films and television shows shot inside Kilmainham, including The Face of Fu Manchu, The Italian Job (the original), In the Name of the Father, Michael Collins, and The Escapist. The East Victorian Wing has also been used as a venue for symphony orchestras performing in Dublin, and a set for a U2 music video.

Prison acoustics for the win!

After the tour, we rode the correct bus back into city center and walked to Grafton Street for dinner, where we decided to go to a place called Yo Sushi. Not surprisingly, they serve sushi. It was actually pretty decent, and very fairly priced, but the best part of the entire dining experience is that we were served via conveyor belt.

Sushi to go!

We just got back, and have decided to spend the evening in. Libby, Danielle, Ashley, and Anders are coming over and we’ll probably watch a movie or play extended Sporcle tournaments. After a long week, it’s a good way to start the weekend.

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