Kilmainham Gaol Museum


Kilmainham Gaol opened in 1796 as the new County Gaol for Dublin. It closed its doors in 1924.

Today the building symbolises the tradition of militant and constitutional nationalism from the rebellion of 1798 to the Irish Civil War of 1922-23. Leaders of the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848,1867 and 1916 were detained and in some cases executed here. Many members of the Irish Republican movement during the Anglo-Irish War (1919-21) were also detained in Kilmainham Gaol, guarded by British troops. Names such as Henry Joy McCracken, Robert Emmet, Anne Devlin, Charles Stewart Parnell and the leaders of 1916 will always be associated with the building. It should not be forgotten however that, as a county gaol, Kilmainham held thousands of ordinary men, women and children. Their crimes ranged from petty offences such as stealing food to more serious crimes such as murder or rape. Convicts from many parts of Ireland were held here for long periods waiting to be transported to Australia. Kilmainham Gaol Museum is operated and managed by the Office of Public Works.


Partial Closure of Kilmainham Gaol in January 2020

To facilitate essential maintenance work, the West Wing of Kilmainham Gaol will be closed to visitors from 6 January – 26 January 2020. Tickets for a 30-minute tour of the Victorian Wing and Stonebreakers Yard will be sold at reception from 9:30am every morning. Tickets are limited and will be sold on a first come first served basis. There is no online booking available during this period. Tickets for guided tours scheduled after 26 January will be available online from Monday 13 January. Please see our Plan a Visit page for further information and updates.

Guided Tours

Entrance to Kilmainham Gaol is by guided tour only and is managed through timed tickets. Advance booking online is essential to guarantee entry. Cancellation tickets for the day will be released online every morning between 9:15am-9:30am.

Visitors should note that due to building maintenance work, there is no online booking for tours between 6 – 26 January 2020. Tickets for guided tours scheduled after 26 January will be available online from Monday 13 January. Further information on tours, tickets and facilities can be found on Plan a Visit & Frequently Asked Questions

Educational School Visits

Kilmainham Gaol Museum offers free educational visits for primary and secondary schools. Please read our Schools Information Page before requesting a visit.

Please note that we have allocated all educational visits for 2019/2020 academic year. We will be accepting requests for 2020/2021 academic year from June 2020. 

Plan a Visit

Opening hours, location, transport and more.

Book Tickets

Book tickets online now, to guarantee your place in our popular tours.


View highlights of the permanent collection.


Information for teachers and students.

Full captions and copyright information for all images can be found in the Galleries. If you would like to use any of the images you see on this website, please contact us.

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