Like something out of a Victorian novel, this early-19th-century jail is an austere and highly atmospheric building. It opened in 1824 as a women’s prison. Famous inmates included the extraordinary Constance Markievicz (1868–1927), the first woman elected to the British parliament, who was sentenced to execution after she took part in the 1916 Easter Rising (her sentence was eventually commuted). Earlier in its history, the jail was the last place in Ireland many convicts were held before being shipped off to Australia. This colorful past is well presented, with the (perhaps inevitable) aid of costumed mannequins in key positions. Somewhat incongruously, in 1927, after the building ceased to be used as a prison, it became the site of Ireland’s first radio station. A small museum tells this story, complete with a restored studio from the period. Special evening tours (€10 per person) take place a couple of times per month, though you must have a group of at least eight and book at least a week ahead—check the website for upcoming dates.
- Jack Jewers