Kilmainham Gaol opened in 1796 as the new County Gaol for Dublin. While most of the prisoners were common criminals, it also held political prisoners involved in Ireland’s struggle for independence ... discover the stories of people held there from the 1798 rebellion, to the 1916 Easter Rising, the Anglo-Irish War (1919-21), to the devastation of the Irish Civil War (1922-23) all these important events have a chapter in the story of Kilmainham Gaol.
The Gaol was closed in 1924 but was preserved as a national monument in the 1960s and restored by the Kilmainham Gaol Restoration Committee. It was handed over to the State in 1986 and today is run by the Office of Public Works.
The courthouse once used by the Grand Jury, with a Grand Jury room on the first floor, was built in 1820 and closed in 2008. It now forms an entrance to the Kilmainham Gaol complex.