Sunday, August 9, 2009

Dublin Zoo & Kilmainham Gaol (Day 9)

Saturday was our only full day in Dublin. We spent most of the day at the zoo (in the rain) and touring the Kilmainham Gaol (jail) which is now a musuem.

Here is a beautiful wild heron that was walking around the zoo. I was able to find a bird book at a store and identified this heron, but I don't remember it's name!

We enjoyed watching this sea lion and her nursing pup. The Daddy came by and started "barking" at the mom and she dutifully left her baby and followed theDdaddy. Well, a juvenile sea lion jumped up on this platform and was being pretty rough with the baby. The Mommy swam back and chased off this young sea lion and laid down again with her baby... until Daddy came back and barked again so she left again. But, this time the baby was left in peace.
We were amazed at these HUGE leaves! I grabbed one to look at the underside of the leaf and was poked by some pretty big thorns!
Alex playing at the zoo.

This is the Kilmainham Gaol. The tour was WONDERFUL and we learned a lot about the history of Ireland. The gaol is now closed, but it was in use during the Irish Potato Famine of the mid-1800's. Over a million Irish people died during the famine. Many were homeless and, of course, starving. People, including children, would purposely steal to be put INTO this gaol... at least that way they'd have a roof over their head and food to eat. They were packed into the gaol and even slept in the hallways... with no beds and horrible conditions.

This is a large room in the gaol. It has been used in several movies. Back to the history... Ireland has had many uprisings as different groups tried to gain freedom from England. One of the most famous uprisings was the Easter Rising or Easter Uprising. 16 of the leaders of the rebellion were housed at this gaol and later executed.

In the "big room", they had doors open to many of the cells and we were free to walk in and shut the doors to see what it was like. Alex and I went in this cell. No, we didn't want to spend the night!

This cross is in the enclosed yard and marks were some of the Easter Rising leaders were executed.


  1. You have seen so many beautiful things!

  2. Thanks so much for the history lesson and for all of the photos. I still can't get over how huge those leaves are on that plant. WOW!

  3. Oohh, that jail is creepy. Do you know which movie it was featured in? I would have been fascinated by this excursion.