Today I went to jail

Today I went to jail -Anastasia Niforos

Well, today was quite exciting, I went to jail in Dublin. Okay so I didn’t actually get sent to jail, but I was able to tour one. The jail I was able to explore was Kilmainham Gaol and it was amazing. It opened up in 1796 and eventually closed in 1924. I have never actually toured through a jail before, so I didn’t really know what to expect.

We first visited the East wing which was a huge room filled with three stories of cells. The room was huge and I had never seen anything like it before. There were cages around the stairs and walls of the place. The only light circulating the room was windows that were located on the ceiling. Each cell was very tiny and had a small window which produced very little light. I was completely fascinated by the whole room. These were the more modern cells that were built. We eventually made our way through a thin hallway where the older cells were located. The doors were rusted, the room was cold and I felt a sort of sadness as I walked through. We learned that there were about four to five people to each cell and they had a bucket between them to use when they needed to go to the bathroom. It was a crowded space and the conditions weren’t great.

 

As we got towards the end of the tour we were guided into the courtyard where the prisoners were brought for an hour. This is where they were given fresh air after being locked in a cell for hours on end. They even had an area in the courtyard for children. We then went next door to an extended part of the courtyard. In this area, the walls were a lot higher and this is where fourteen men were executed. Two crosses were placed in the gravel on each side and signified where the executions took place. It was crazy to be in a place where so many prisoners were held and executed. It makes me realize what people went through during these times and how it shaped the history of Dublin in such a remarkable way.

 

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