Thursday, May 5, 2016

Last Day in Ireland!

Last Sight-Seeing moments in Dublin:

  • IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art)
  • Kilmainham Gaol

Today was our last day in Dublin. We started the day by taking a trip to the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The class saw many modern creations from the 20th and 21st centuries. Some of the artists represented there include Patrick Hennessy, Mark Dion, and Peter Hutchinson.

The students follow Professor Wolfe into IMMA

Liz looks at Salmon of Knowledge Returns by Mark Dion.

 Allie examines The Botanical Gardens by Peter Hutchinson

Next, the class went on tours of Kilmainham Gaol, a jail whose history is extremely relevant in the 100th anniversary of Easter Rising. Kilmainham opened in 1796, initially it was very overcrowded and housed over 4,000 prisoners awaiting to be sent to Australia. During the Famine, Kilmainham experienced a great increase of prisoners because many people started stealing food, even children were imprisoned for this. The government at that time believed that if you were old enough to commit the crime, you were old enough to do the time for it. The youngest inmate was just five years old. The fourteen leaders of the Easter Monday Rising were all imprisoned and most were executed in this jail. Today, where they were executed stands a black cross in memory of their leadership in the rebellion for Irish independence. A special moment for our class was visiting there during the 100 year anniversary of these executions, because of this wreaths were put in place in the labor-yard to honor their lives. One particularly touching story that we heard today was of the Plunkett's. Joseph Plunkett and his sweetheart, Grace, were both involved in the uprising, and then imprisoned in Kilmainham while their trials took place. When it was determined that Joseph Plunkett would be executed, he begged that he would be allowed to marry Grace before he was killed. The two were only allowed 10 minutes of marriage before Joseph was executed. Grace was later let go when the prison was liberated.

The newer wing, created so that the wardens and guards could see all of the happenings in the jail from any spot.

Professor Wolfe, Sadie, and Kate observe the largest wing in Kilmainham.

Our tour guide tells the group about the inner workings of this portion of the jail.

The exercise yard, where inmates were forced to walk in circles in silence as they get their fresh air for the day.

 The cross that memorializes where the majority of the rebels were executed. The wreaths have also been placed in commemoration, per the request of their descendants.
Kate and Sadie pose in the museum, looking a little too happy for prison.

After taking the Hop-on Hop-off bus toward our hotel, we decided to take a walk through O'Connell Street and take a last Dublin group picture on one of the many walking bridges across the Liffey. Built in 1816, the Ha'Penny Bridge serves as one of Dublin's oldest and most beautiful bridges.

Our last day in Dublin ended with another wonderful pub dinner reflecting on our favorite moments of Ireland, and fun facts that we learned. Here is a video of everyone cheering (with water) to a wonderful first week (ft. our lovely waitress!)


Liz's favorite moment of today was eating dinner family style with her new friends. "It's crazy how in such a short amount of time we've grown so close and comfortable with each other. I'm so thankful to be traveling the UK and Ireland with such an incredible group of women!"

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