Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Iron Bars Do Not A Prison Make

Theme tours are all the rage, and Ireland will not be left behind. Plans are in the works so that you, the blase tourist, can enjoy a unique experience while in Dublin.

You'll have to wait until some time after 2011, but what a joy awaits you. The 'Joy, in fact, will be awaiting you. Iron bars optional, one would hope.

The massive stone pile that is Mountjoy Gaol has changed little since Queen Victoria's day. That would be the day before indoor plumbing, and inmates at the 'Joy are made to slop out their cells every morning. Talk about hard time.

A new and modern facility is due to be built, which means that Mountjoy will be empty. As a listed building, its facade is untouchable, and what could a developer do with such limitations? There's no need for a museum, not when Kilmainham serves so well. The inside is already chopped up into cells, which speaks of the typical hotel room, doesn't it?

Close to the Mater Hospital, right there on the outskirts of Dublin city, conveniently accessed via public better location. And if you're tracing your ancestry back through the penal colonies and transportation, wouldn't it be a treat to stay in the same cell as your great-great-great-great-grandparents called home until they were shipped off to Van Diemen's Land?

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