Graffiti Revelations and the Changing Meanings of Kilmainham Gaol in (Post)Colonial Ireland

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Kilmainham Gaol (1796–1924) became the de facto holding center for political prisoners in Ireland by the mid-nineteenth century. Officially closing in 1910, it reopened a number of times for “emergencies” before its final closure after the Irish Civil War (1922–23). After 1924 it lay abandoned until reopening as a heritage attraction in the early 1960s. It was taken into state protection in 1986. Using a range of graffiti assemblages predominantly dating from 1910 onwards this paper will explore the “imperial debris” of contested narratives of meaning, ownership, and identity that the prison walls continue to materialize.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Historical Archaeology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)492-505
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Sep 2016

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