As the Marist Leaving Cert history students returned from their Easter break they were treated to a very educational and enjoyable trip to Kilmainham Jail and Glasnevin Cemetery. Along with their history teachers Mr Lally, Ms Ní Dhóirnín and Mr McGeever 50 pupils experienced guided tours that linked perfectly into the history curriculum and helped to enhance their learning.
First stop was Kilmainham Jail where students learned how, from the 1790s onwards, a remarkable number of leading ﬁgures of Irish nationalism were imprisoned and executed there. Each prison cell had its own story and the tour culminated in the stone-breakers’ yard where, between 3rd and 12th May 1916, fourteen men were executed by ﬁring squad. Students heard the stories of the condemned and of how one of the leaders, Joseph Plunkett, was given permission to marry his ﬁancée, Grace Gifford, in the chapel of the Gaol just hours before his execution. The ﬁnal execution was that of James Connolly, a key personality on their leaving cert course.
The group then made the short journey to Glasnevin Cemetery where they got a valuable insight into its unique history and into the final resting place of the men and women who have helped shape Ireland’s past and present. The expert guides told the stories of the dramatic events and personalities they had experienced in class which was followed by a trip to its new state of the art museum. The day out definitely increased their enthusiasm for history!