We’ve been absent from the blog for a day! To all of our loyal fans I apologize, we were traveling in the morning and it was a long day! But now we’re back so let me fill you in!
Yesterday consisted of a delayed flight from Cardiff to Dublin, Ireland, a bus ride in from the airport, finding our housing, exploring the area around “The Spire of Dublin” (a tourist hot-spot and an important monument) and getting our bearings in the new city, and then I went over to University College of Dublin to visit Anna (who is also doing a study abroad in Dublin).
(View from the Gravity bar, Guinness Storehouse)
Now that you’re up to speed, I’ll talk a little about what stuck with me through the day. At the Kilmainham Gaol jail, we were shown the newer East wing (built in 1860’s), the older West wing (opened in 1796), and some of the outer courtyards. Our guide told us stories of some of the prisoners that were held there, the progressive (for the time) outlook that was taken while building the East wing, and the hardships and difficult times the prison saw. In all of that, the one thing that I have been unable to shake from my mind the rest of the day was the story of James Fisher. Fisher was one of the first four men executed during the Irish Civil War. James was only 18 years old and was executed because he was in possession of a revolver, without proper authority. His final request was to see his mother before his execution; he was denied this request, but he was able to write her a letter (I highly encourage that you read it, I’ve put it below). Regardless of your stance or politics I think there is a value to understanding and studying the means and motives behind this story and looking at those same circumstances in a current time; thinking of how this would look in modern context and whether or not it would be different or the same.
(Photos from Kilmainham Gaol jail)
James Fisher’s Last Letter to his Mother:
I am now awaiting the supreme penalty at 7 o’clock in the morning but I am perfectly happy, because I’ve seen the Priest and I am going to die a good Catholic and a soldier of the Irish Republic. Don’t worry or cry for me, but pray for the repose of my soul and my three comrades. I asked to see you, but they say that they would see what they could do.
Ask all my friends and comrades to pray for me and Dick and my two comrades. Mother I would just love one look at all the faces at home, your’s above all, but seemly that is denied me. I get everything I want now, which as you know is the usual stunt. Mother, my heart grieves for one look at your dear face; but please God I will meet you and them all in heaven. I picture how this will effect you, but Mother don’t fret, for remember I am happy. The Priest here is going to get me to hear my confession, and I will receive at the altar in the morning.
Lord Jesus give me courage in my last moments. If I had only got told of my sentence I would have been well prepared before now. Oh Mother if I could only see you, just again. Don’t fret Mother because I am happy.
To my Mother I dearly love, Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye. We will meet again in Heaven please God, Mother. God strengthen you in this ordeal Mother. I am to die for Ireland
Two Days of Dublin By: Jacob McDowell