Kilmainham Gaol, also known as Kilmainham Jail, is a former prison located in Kilmainham, Dublin, Ireland. It is now a museum.
Kilmainham gaol has played an important part in Irish history, as many leaders of Irish rebellions were imprisoned and some executed in the jail. The jail has also been used as a set for several films.
When it was first built in the late 1780s it was called the "New Gaol" to distinguish it from the old jail it was intended to replace - a noisome dungeon, just a few hundred metres from the present site. Over the 140 years it served as a prison it held in its cells many of the most famous people involved in the campaign for Irish independence. The leaders of the Easter Rising, 1916 were held and executed here. The last prisoner held in the jail was Eamon de Valera. It was abandoned as a jail in 1924 by the government of the new Irish Free State. Following lengthy restoration it now houses a museum on the history of Irish nationalism and offers guided tours of the building.
Children were sometimes arrested for petty theft. Some of the prisioners were deported to Australia. The youngest to be a seven year-old boy.