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Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin: Refurbishment of Cast Iron Gutters


 

We were contracted by Merrion Contracting to complete the refurbishment of the Cast Iron Gutters of this historical building in 2015. Originally a prison, Kilmainham Gaol is now a museum run by the Office of Public Works.  Built in 1796, it was officially called the County of Dublin Gaol and was run by the Grand Jury.  Public hangings took place at the front of the prison, however, from the 1820's onwards few hangings took place.  The prison held men, women and children with up to five in one cell.  Its youngest inmate was said to have been only seven years old. Conditions were extremely poor, particularly for women.  Leaders of the 1916 rising were imprisoned and executed in the prison by the British as well as other Irish revolutionaries.  In 1924, Kilmainham Gaol was decommissioned as a prison.  The Irish Prison Board considered reopening the jail in the 1920's, however, these plans were abandoned in 1929.  The National Graves Association took interest in preserving the site as a memorial to the 1916 rising and as a museum in the late 1930's.  However, this idea was not acted upon and the prison's condition deteriorated.  In 1958, the Kilmainham Gaol society was formed and in 1960 the society began the restoration of the site.  It now holds a museum on the history of Irish Nationalism.

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