Travel Writing by Cory Hanson

Kilmainham Gaol Under Renovation for 2015


[Update: The Kilmainham Gaol renovation project is now complete and the new experience is open to the public. More about the April 2016 opening here.]

Well, this is a bit embarrassing! I was recently made aware of a major construction project at one of my favorite Dublin historical and cultural attractions. Kilmainham Gaol is in the process of restoring the neighboring courthouse and making it part of the visitor experience.

I heard about these plans last year, but didn’t know about the construction project until I spoke to someone who had recently visited the gaol. They had paid a discounted admission for a somewhat abridged tour. I scrambled to the computer to find out more so that the book could be updated with this important information.

For the rest of 2015, parts of the gaol may be blocked off or closed. Currently, the famous East Wing (the big cell block used to shoot movies, television shows, and U2 videos) is closed to visitors. It’s difficult to hear that tourists can’t visit one of Ireland’s most famous rooms, but at least they have a few euros knocked off the admission price.

Kilmainham Gaol East Wing

Kilmainham Gaol East Wing, Closed for 2015

The good news (besides the reduced admission price for disrupted tours) is that the managers do not currently anticipate any closings or tour cancellations as works continue. Eventually, the museum exhibits may be closed as the gaol is connected to the courthouse, but tours are planned to continue every day. Visitors are encouraged to check the Kilmainham Gaol website before visiting to confirm tour availability.

Meanwhile, The Frugal Guide: Dublin has been edited to reflect this work, and includes a few more bits and tweaks. In the foreword, I encourage anyone with the book to double check the book’s website for the latest revision date. This way, no one comes to Dublin with a slightly out-of-date version of the book.

Grab the latest update, share it with your traveling friends and family, and don’t forget to leave a review of the book and podcast on your favorite distributor!


  1. February 26, 2015    

    I worked with a French student and I told him if there was one thing he had to visit while in Dublin, it was Kilmainham Gaol. He went at the week-end and when he came back to work on Monday , told me about the construction works…oops! But he still enjoyed the visit, which is the main thing really 🙂

    • February 28, 2016    

      There’s nothing like Dublin in the wetinr, it’s as cold as Oslo but not as beautiful due to the lack of snow, but it is the pure freezingness of it all and the frost all over the roads and footpaths of the city that make it so picturesque in the most non-conventional way. in every building you look, the windows are fogged over with the heat of people inside. I mean even though the taxi drivers and cheap restaurant owners aren’t as friendly as they are in July and the traffic is worse than ever with all the country folk coming up shopping for Christmas, there is a very unique kind of romanticism attached to this amazing little city in wetinr and it’s coming into heavy jacket season now, and the lights are going up all over the city and it looks nothing like the amazingness of Paris or London or Brussels and their magnificent Christmas lights, and the Christmas Tree on O’Connell Street looks like the typical bad attempt at modern sculpture Dublin City Council seem to spring for, but it’s just so stunning in it’s own special, warming way. In fact, warming is exactly what it is, the city in Winter just invites people to come together and brace the icy winds and come through the bad roads, passing the vivid patchwork of fairy lights on the way, only to meet up with friends and family to make memories that live on well after the thawing of Spring.

  2. February 27, 2015    

    Right you are. It sounds like the tour is still informative and thought-provoking, they just have to skip the big room. Still recommended, especially if it's cheaper!

  3. February 28, 2015    

    Good to know. Glad I skipped it last weekend. I shall wait until it's all open again!

  4. March 1, 2015    

    The new experience next year should be great if they get the old courthouse restored and on the tour!

  5. February 28, 2016    

    Speaking as a returned ex-pat Dublin was never far from my mind, i wrote a song [Dublin on my mind] i suttmied another one [Dublin you are me] also a piece [A letter to a mate] i bet there are thousands of people like myself wrote bits and pieces and threw them in the bottom drawer, i spent most of my working life in Australia, it’s great to be home, thought i dont live in Dublin but i’m only a couple of hours away. This is a great idea, i’m sure the panel will get great pleasure going through the entries, you’re sure to find a few gems.

No Pings Yet

  1. Kilmainham Gaol Opens New Expansion – Five Suitcases on April 14, 2016 at 3:32 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Five Suitcases