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History Comes Alive,
This review is from: Every Dark Hour: A History of Kilmainham Jail (Paperback)Niamh O'Sullivan opens the door of understanding about one of Dublin, Ireland's top historical sites and tourist attractions. Based on a quarter-century of working with its walls, her extensive knowledge and intimate insights into the jail's history and human drama make for compelling reading.
If there is any one building in Ireland that offers a grim reminder of England's domination of the Irish people, it is Kilmainham. Its grey walls and black history have loomed over Dublin and the Irish for centuries. To quote O'Sullivan, "The wretched prison building is dark, cold and inhospitable - and forty shades of grey. But if you peel back the stone skin and venture right inside, it is suddenly illuminated by the heroism, idealism and love of those men and women who were forced to spend time within it walls or, worse, to lose their very lives in one of its yards."
In thoughtful, easy-to-read prose, the author takes the reader back four centuries to Kilmainham's beginning in 1787. Next, she carefully weaves the history of Ireland through the lives of those who passed through its stony ramparts. Finally closed in 1929 and left to rack and ruin, O'Sullivan tells how the once 'den of iniquity' has resurfaced as a major tourist attraction and centre for learning.
EVERY DARK HOUR is a fascinating read for any student of Irish history or for the curious traveller who wishes to know more about the people and events surrounding Anglo-Irish entanglements dating from the early nineteenth century. Reviewed by Cathal Liam