So back with Dublin’s fair city.
The most interesting place we visited was Kilmainham Gaol When we got there we found we could not get on a tour of the prison itself and we debated whether or not to just go into the museum they have there, and I am so glad we did. In particular they have a wonderful display about The 1916 Easter Rising.
It was after the Easter Rising of 1916 that the Gaol served its most important role in the history of Ireland when some of the rebels were executed by the British Army. Reaction to the rebellion in Ireland to that point had been mixed, but the execution of Irish people caused uproar –especially that of James Connolly who was so ill he could not stand to be shot, and so was tied to a chair instead.
What was most touching in the whole exhibition were the last letters written by the 15 men who were due to die by firing squad to their loved ones. In particular the letter Joseph Plunkett wrote urging Grace Gifford to come at once to the prison and marry him is so moving. They were married for two hours before he died and Grace was later immortalised in a song named after her.
One slightly awkward moment in that museum. They had mug shots of various past prisoners which gave their name, crime and sentence. I could have done without being the person someone else’s young and sheltered daughter asked what buggery was, having just read that some poor sod got a twelve year stretch for said offence. At least I could tell her mother it was good that she has an enquiring mind.
Apart from that I also went to a fabulous pub, had another great meal just off Temple Bar here and enjoyed a wander around Grafton Street, Merrion Square and St Stephen’s Green
We did not however get to the Guinness Storehouse – we decided with regret it would be a bit much to inflict on the four teenage girls in our group – but hey, there is always next time.
I conclude my tales from the Emerald Isle with a picture of a pretty bridge which was just outside our hotel.
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