|Kilmainham Gaol (sometimes referred to by the modern American English version, Kilmainham Jail) is a former prison, located in Inchicore in Dublin, which is now a museum.|
Kilmainham Gaol has played an important part in Irish history, as many leaders of Irish rebellions were imprisoned and some executed in the jail. The jail has also been used as a set for several films.
When it was first built in 1796, Kilmainham Gaol was called the 'New Gaol' to distinguish it from the old jail it was intended to replace - a noisome dungeon, just a few hundred metres from the present site. Over the 140 years it served as a prison, its cells held many of the most famous people involved in the campaign for Irish independence. The leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising were held and executed here, and the last prisoner held in the jail was Eamon de Valera.
Children were sometimes arrested for petty theft, the youngest said to be a seven year-old boy, while many of the adult prisoners were deported to Australia.
Kilmainham Gaol was abandoned as a jail in 1924, by the government of the new Irish Free State. Following lengthy restoration, it now houses a museum on the history of Irish nationalism and offers guided tours of the building.