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Céad Caoga Míle Fáilte*-150,000 Welcomes*

Bhí 150,000 príosúnaigh I bPríosúin Chill Mhaighneán    -    There were 150,000 prisoners in Kilmainham Gaol 


Catherine Moore (46)

Larceny of a prize goose
6 months’ hard labour


James Murphy (35) shoemaker
Stealing 3 whitewash brushes “and other articles”
6 months’ hard labour


Charles Hudson (12)
Stealing a muff
1 month’s hard labour, then 5 years in Glencree Reformatory
Rose Kelly

Murdering a child
Death. 1st female execution



A.N. Other
Details missing from Register


A.N. Other
Details missing from Register


(a) A.N. Other;
(b) James Kelly
(a) United Irish Rebellion of 1798;
House robbery
(a) Death, 1799;
(b) Death 1804


Patrick Boylan;
James Crowley;
Laurence Donnelly;
George Kirby;
Thomas McGuire

Burglary & robbery

We're 10 years old this year, and our new 2018 Catalogue is now available

At last, our 2018 Catalogue is ready and you can access it online Here.

In it you will find details on all our publications to date, and some information on publications to come. 

Please note that the catalogue will be updated as our plans evolve, so it is worth checking back occasionally.

Any book in the catalogue is available from this website. Simply click on the link "Publications" at the top of any page and select from the drop-down list for the book of your choice.

Kilmainham Tales started in 2008 with just one book - "Anne Devlin, bravest of the brave". 
      One of our slimmest books, it had just 32 pages and cost €5. We never imagined in 2008 where we would be 10 years later but if you peruse our catalogue (see above) shows our list consists of 17 of the original Kilmainham Tales books and three full, conventional paperbacks by some of the best historians and writers available.  We have been delighted with the support and encouragement we have received over the decade since we began, and look forward to your ongoing support.
         However, it was a struggle even in 2008 to get the price down to a fiver, and since then there have been increasing costs, in particular printing. Yet we never raised our prices, even as these costs spiralled. 
      Finally, however, we have reached the point where we cannot hold our prices any longer and must increase the original series from €5 to €6 per copy. Yes, we know this is 20%, but that equates to just 2% per year, and is only €1, but it means a lot to us and hopefully will help us to continue publishing these books.
      A glance at our catalogue will show our plans for some very interesting books well advanced, and there are another 20 or so books we are in discussion with the authors about including, hopefully, a series on the prisons of Ireland, of which the Wicklow book is only the beginning.
     However, as this increase may have been unexpected, we have agreed to defer it until the end of January. So, for anyone buying an original series Kilmainham Tales book through this website in January, the price will be  €5 per copy. 
      From 1 February 2018, however, that will increase to €6. So, buy now and save 20%!
      Note that this increase only applies to the Kilmainham Tales Original Series. All other books from us, including the marvelous "MAY 25 - burning of the Custom House", and our latest "1916 - Battle of Moore Street/Cath Shráid Uí Mhórdha" - remain as before.
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Battle of Moore Street
Cath Shráid Uí Mhórdha

A bi-lingual history of the final battle of the Easter Rising in the words of those who were there.

Stair dhá-theangach chath deiridh Éirí Amach na Cásca i bhfocail iad siúd a bhí i láthair.

"To give a relatively small street in Dublin's City Centre the title of "Birthplace of the Republic" may seem audacious, bold or even brazen, but anyone who reads Ray Bateson’s account of Moore Street and its pivotal role in the 1916 Easter Rising cannot but be convinced, not only that the title is justified, but that the story of Moore Street must take its rightful and prominent place in our history, especially when the 1916 Rising is being discussed".
  So wrote Cllr. Nial Ring, in the Introduction of this unique book launched in Dublin's iconic Mansion House by Lord Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha on December 11th.
  Read more here, and/or buy the book (at €12.50 per copy) here.

Éist le agallamh fé'n leabhar seo a craoladh ar Raidió na Gaeltachta
an cóip, maille postas.
per copy, plus postage.
"B’fhéidir go mbreathnaíonn sé dána, dínáireach fiú, an teideal “Áit Bhreithe na Poblachta” a thabhairt ar shráid sách beag i mBaile Átha Cliath. Ach duine ar bith a léann cuntas Ray Bateson ar Shráid Uí Mhórdha agus an pháirt lárnach a bhí aige in Éirí Amach 1916 ní fhéadfadh sé ach a chreidiúint go bhfuil ní hamháin an teideal cóir, ach gur cheart do Shráid Uí Mhórdha á háit cheart thábhachtach a ghlacadh sa stair, go háirithe nuair a bhíonn Éirí Amach 1916 á phle".
  Sin a scríobh Cmhrlr. Nial Ring ina Réamhrá do'n leabhar sainiúil seo a sheol Árd Mhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath Mícheál Mac Donncha ina theach íocónach féin ar 11u Nollaig.
  Léigh tuille anseo agus/nó ceannaigh an leabhar (ar €12.50 an cóip) anseo.
Éist le foilsitheor Mícheál Ó Doibhilín ag labhairt faoi an leabhar seo agus an scéal taobh thiar de'n leabhar seo ar an clár raidió "An Chearta" a craoladh ar Raidio na Gaeltachta anseo. Craoladh seo ar Domhnach 14 Eanáir 2018.

Sé An Cheárta clár ealaíona seachtainiúil RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, léirithe agus láithrithe ag Cearbhall Ó Síocháin. Domhnach 1.15in.

An Cheárta is RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta's weekly arts programme, produced and presented by Cearbhall Ó Síocháin. Sunday 1.15pm.

Order NOW

To commemorate the life of Anne Devlin, one of our greatest heroes and first female political prisoner, Cuimhní Anne Devlin commissioned this beautiful plaque from Artist Joram (“Jerome”) Drori and cast by him in his workshop and bronze finished in a limited edition of just 71 - one for each year of her life.

Now you can be the proud owner of this limited edition tribute to a great Irish patriot. Click here for further details.

Wonderful Commemoration 2017
This year's commemoration of Anne Devlin was a huge success. 

Our biggest crowd to date (with many new and old friends), a great guest speaker, a terrific new song, a guard of honour of pikemen, coupled with incredibly good weather - all combined to ensure that a wonderful lady and Irish hero was remembered as she should be.

Our thanks go first to the priests of St. Catherine's Church in Meath Street for facilitating us in the initial part of our ceremonies.

A big thanks must go to Glasnevin Cemetery and the staff there for facilitating us so willingly and well. 
Historian and author Helen Litton was the Guest Speaker and spoke well and a length of Anne before laying the Commemorative Wreath on her grace.

Frank Callery sang the song he had composed specially for Anne, and received rapturous applause before also laying a wreath. 

Cuimhní Anne Devlin Secretary Liz Gillis laid a wreath from the Society, Society Chairperson Mícheál 
Ó Doibhilín also paid tribute to Anne and chaired the proceedings. 

Light refreshments in the Cafe allowed us to chat and get to know one another afterwards.

To view the photos of this great day click here:

On September 18, 166 years ago, Anne Devlin was buried, after 48 years’ struggle against the mightiest empire in the world. 

She died proud but in agony, starving, in a garret flat devoid of possessions long ago sold to the pawn shop, angry, alone
… and forgotten.

because she had been abandoned by those she was protecting, those involved in Robert Emmet’s failed 1803 Rebellion.

because she was widowed, ill, unable to work and unsupported by the so-called Republicans she protected.

In agony,
because she was still suffering – after 45 years – the effects of her time as a “guest of the nation” in Kilmainham Gaol, and the evil attention of Dr. Edward Trevor.

because the Administration deemed her so dangerous a policeman followed her everywhere, every day of her life, from the day she was released from prison so that she could not collude with anyone, and those who might speak to her were marked as ‘Trouble’ and interrogated.

because only she was brave enough to resist the British Empire and refuse its bribes and ignore its tortures.

because she spent her last money honouring her faithful husband by buying him a grave in Glasnevin and, unable to work due to rheumatism and erysipelas, she had pawned every stick of furniture, every rag, for a few crumbs of bread.

because no-one wanted to be seen to be associated with her.

because she stood, alone, against the British administration and preserved the spinal chord of Irish Nationalism through the Young Irelanders, the Fenians, up to the men and women of 1916 and beyond, and the ultimate overthrow of the invader on the bulk of this island.

Anne was buried in a pauper’s coffin in an unmarked grave in Glasnevin. Eventually, the historian RR Madden raised a headstone and unwittingly committed the final insult when he described Anne Devlin as Robert Emmet’s “faithful servant”, which she was not. No, she was Emmet’s co-conspirator and the proud bearer of his ideals until her death. She was Ireland’s first female prisoner … and today has been forgotten by almost everyone.

On Sunday, September 24th, we marked her life as we have done for the previous 12 years, first at 12 noon mass in St. Catherine’s Church, Meath Street (where she was married and her children were baptised) and then, at 3.00 pm, at her graveside in Glasnevin, where many joined with us to remember and honour one of our greatest.

Available In:
Hodges Figgis,
Dawson St.,
Dublin 2:
Books Upstairs,
17 D'Olier St, Dublin 2;
Books.ie at
or any good bookshop. If they don't have it ask them to order it in.
We launched "MAY 25 - burning of the Custom House 1921" on June 21, in the Irish Labour History Society, Beggars' Bush to a full house.

Éamon Ó'Cuív was the guest speaker, Mícheál Ó Doibhilín the MC, and Liz Gillis the guest of honour!

It was a swelteringly hot evening, which ensured that the water, mineral water and chilled white wine were all firm fvourites with the attendees.

It was great to see so many familiar faces - but also so many new ones present. 

Rather than give a full account of the night it is simpler to link to Pól Ó Duibhir's blog here where he reports on the night - and reviews the book. 

Pól and James Langton both photographed the event and we reproduce Pól Ó Duibhir's photos below. James Langton's are here. As will be seen by these there was much one-to-one discussion between the attendees and the speakers.

One unusual feature was an extra version of the book - in cake! Created by Aisling Whelan of Icing on the Cake by Aisling Whelan, this was possibly the first time when an author had to eat her words at her own book launch! The cake was as popular as the book, and all agreed it was as good.

We are grateful to all who attended on such a warm evening, but especially to our Guest Speaker Éamon Ó Cuív who spoke so passionately about the book and the events in it.

We are proud to have added this book - and author - to our collection. Liz Gillis, of course, has six previous best-selling history books to her credit, and has worked for over eight years with publisher Mícheál Ó Doibhilín to bring this book to fruition.
Liz Gillis has written the first comprehensive history of perhaps the most important event in the irish War of Independence - the burning of the Custom House.

This account puts the attack in context and explains in great detail the events of the day and its aftermath.

This book is unique inasmuch as it tackles a subject which many have claimed to have been a disastrous failure. Liz explains the objectives, the context, the planning and the consequences in detail.

The book is now available to buy direct from us here.

Now available in major bookshops, including:

Hodges Figgis in Dawson Street, Dublin
is the first to stock this great book - and even have some signed copies so, don't delay and get yours quick!

Books Upstairs, D'Olier Street is quick to follow suit.

Alan Hanna, Rathmines is the latest to stock our complete range.

If you can't get to any of these stockists, check with your local bookseller - if they don't have what you want ask them to order it in. Available from either their regular suppliers or from us here.

Books.ie stock this online at 


'Burning of the Custom House' commemorative badge
A special badge has been produced to commemorate the burning of the Custom House on May 25, 1921.

Retailing at only €5 (plus p&p) it is available here

On May 25, 1921 the IRA launched one of its largest and most audacious operations when it attacked Dublin’s Custom House, the heart of the British administration in Ireland.

Many still view this as a military failure that destroyed the IRA’s Second Battalion in Dublin but, over the last number of years, this view has grown to be challenged.

Now it can be argued that the operation was, in fact, a success which probably helped bring about a truce and the subsequent Treaty negotiations.

Liz Gillis (historian and author of six books on Ireland’s early 20th century revolutionary period) and Mícheál Ó Doibhilín (author of four books and publisher of books on Irish history) organised a full-day a conference in the Custom House, Dublin on the burning of the Custom House, Dublin, 1921, on Saturday, May 27 2017.

This attack was a pivotal moment in the War of Independence and, less than seven weeks later, a truce was arranged between both sides as England called for peace talks.
Speakers including historians Seán Hogan (author), Las Fallon (two books), Paul O'Brien (eight books), Liz Gillis and Mícheál Ó Doibhilín presented the results of their research into the attack and its consequences.

Topics included the attack itself, the role of the Fire Brigade, a military analysis of the attack, fire as a weapon in the War of independence, and what it was like to be in the building during the attack.
A panel discussion with the speakers concluded each session. Report here
It is with the deepest regret that we record the untimely death of our friend, historian and author Shane Kenna, following a long and hard battle against cancer bravely fought.
Words cannot describe our loss – not just of one of our best authors – but a best and generous friend too. Shane was that rare creature – a really nice and genuine person who was also an expert in his field.

He wrote two books for Kilmainham Tales and had promised us more. He wrote major books for other publishers. But he was also generous to us with his knowledge on other projects and so helpful always.

It was our great pleasure to work with him in Kilmainham Gaol when he was there and every day in his company was a valuable learning experience to be treasured. Road trips with him were memorable, and to get to listen to him give talks on diverse subjects including Tom Clarke was a privilege we shall sorely miss.

Shane was a giant in the field of History - making his mark with major books on the Fenians etc. But he had so much more to contribute ...
As one tribute online wrote:
"Laoch ar lár" - "Warrior down" (we've borrowed this for our title, it is so apt). But, in falling, Shane has joined that great panoply of heroes we rightly revere, heroes who loved our country, heroes who lived for it, heroes who gave their all to immortalise it.

Tá laoch ar lár … ach níl sé caillte”. “A hero has fallen … but he is not lost”, for 
Shane has now entered the pages of that history which he loved so well. But not as some mere footnote - no, he will have a chapter all his own, where he will stamp his authority on our past for our future. He will not be forgotten as long as any of us lives, as long as his books exist.

Even when we have all passed on and his books, eventually, may be forgotten, he will still have contributed to the richness and depth of our understanding of who and what we are as a nation and, even if forgotten in name, by clarifying our past, he will have shaped our future.

Shane may not have lived long, but he will live longer and have greater influence than all the rest of us together.

To his mother Olive, his brother John and his fiancée Edel, we can only offer our deepest and sincerest sympathies. We do not envy you your grief, though we share it. We offer our support, and assure you that we will be with you whenever you need us. Your loss is our loss and we suffer with you in your pain. The world .. your world ... our world ... is a poorer place today.

To Shane we say “Slán, a cara, agus míle buíochais. Thank you for all you did and gave. You remain part of us. Rest in peace, brave soldier, your work here is done”.

Ar dheis Dé go rabh Séaghan i measc na naomh go deo
Shane wrote 6 books during his brief lifetime:

For a brief biography visit this page

There are some online videos of Shane. Two of the best are here and here.
The GPO Cumann na mBan nursing contingent in the battlefield, Easter Week, 1916 ... the forgotten heroism of 12 brave Cumann na mBan Women is told in a major new two-part article by Maeve O'Leary, granddaughter of Lucy Smith (Byrne).
The women were:

Aoife de Burca
Elizabeth (Lillie) Burke (McGinty) 
Louise Gavan DuffyLucy Smith
Lucy Smyth (Byrne)
Molly Reynolds
Martha (Birdie) Walsh (Slater)
Margaret McElroy
Mary Josephine (Mary Jo) Walsh (Rafferty)
Margaret Walsh (Jenkins)
Matilda (Tilly) Simpson
Peggy Downey
Stasia Byrne (Toomey)
and you can read the first part of their fascinating story here or  here
We attended the European Premiere of "Death or Liberty" in the Australian Embassy, Dublin, on Friday November 18th. with a capacity audience.
   This feature-length film (80 mins) tells the story of British and Irish political transportees to Australia - their life and after-life.
Between 1793 and 1867 the British Government banished its radicals, dissenters and rebels to harsh prison colonies at the very edge of the known world - Australia.
   Some were to escape and return home as heroes but many stayed in this alien new land ... and made a difference.
   Their stories are full of astonishing acts of bravery and derring-do. Here, in their own words, they tell tales that are at once stirring, heart-wrenching, dark, sometimes funny.

Film Premiere in Dublin and London 
Based on Tony Moore's book of the same name, this film brings to life the forgotten history of these convict rebels, transported in chains but unbowed and unsilenced.
   Death or Liberty features celebrated troubadours Billy Bragg (England), Mick Thomas (Australia) and Lisa O'Neill (Ireland) as well as historians including Thomas Keneally, Dr. Tony Moore and our own Mícheál Ó Doibhilín.
   With an international cast of actors, this film tells a tale long forgotten by all but the few.
   The Irish showing was booked out, with a long waiting list, but for those who can get to London there will be another chance to see this amazing film before it goes on general release at Nash Theatre, King's College, London, (see poster) onTuesday 22nd at  6.15 pm. Admission is FREE but must be booked.
Anne Devlin Annual Commemoration 2016
The Annual Anne Devlin Commemoration was held this year on Sunday September 25th, one week after the 165th Anniversary of her death in 1851.

    The Commemoration followed the usual format, with mass at 12 noon in St. Catherine's Church, Meath Street, Dublin 1, followed by a graveside oration and wreath laying at Anne's grave in Glasnevin Cemetery at 3 pm.
    This year, for the first time, we were granted permission by the Cemetery management to make this a formal occasion, and they actively supported us in this, including the supply of sound equipment for the oration. 

     As this is the 165th anniversary of Anne's death in 1851 (she died on September 18th) we made a special request to as many as possible to attend either or both parts of the ceremony, and were particularly pleased to see a crowded church for the midday mass, and the great round of applause for this brave woman that followed Mícheál Ó Doibhilín's address.

    We were delighted to have, as our first guest speaker at the graveside, Nuala Perry of Belfast's Anne Devlin Society, a society specifically established and named in honour of Anne. Nuala, as part of her address, read a passage from the introduction to "In the Footsteps of Anne" - a book by Republican women ex-prisoners, which noted the influence of Anne's memory on these women, and their admiration for her suffering for a free Ireland. 

    A new group has been established - Cuimhní Anne Devlin - to "remember Anne through Research, Publication, Education and Commemoration" and it is this group that organised the special service for Anne Devlin this year and will do so into the future.
 Cuimhní is Irish for Remember, Consider, Think and Remind and is used to define the purpose of the group - to co-ordinate ongoing research, public talks, publications, research etc. to further consolidate the memory of Anne Devlin as one of Ireland's most important heroes.
    Further details can be obtained on the Cuimhní Anne Devlin Facebook page here and other events will be posted on this page also.
On Thursday September 8th Mícheál Ó Doibhilín gave a talk on Anne Devlin - "The Pawn and the Castle" - in the Presbyterian Church, Lucan at 8.00 pm. The large audience enjoyed the presentation thoroughly, and there was a lively Q&A afterwards.
Mícheál is willing to give this talk to any interested group anywhere. Simply contact us for further information here
Josie McGowan
Mícheál Ó Doibhilín gave an illustrated talk on the brief life of Josie McGowan - one of the forgotten participants in the Easter Rising - on Monday 26 September to a packed audience in Áras Chrónáin, Watery Lane, Clondalkin.
Josie was only 18 when she took part in the Easter Rising, fighting in the Marrowbone lane garrison. But two years later she was dead in tragic circumstances. Yet she was posthumously awarded not just the Easter Rising medal but also the Black and Tan/War of Independence one too. 
Overlooked until Mícheál researched her story, he believes she should be among our most honoured for her dedication and her bravery.
Thug Mícheál Ó Doibhilín léacht léaraithe ar saol gairid Josie McGowan - a ghlach páirt in Éirí Amach na Cásca - in Áras Chrónáin, Watery Lane, Cluain Dolcáin, ar an Luain, 26ú Meán Fómhair, ar a hocht a chlog iarnóin.
Ní raibh ach 18 bliain caite ag Josie nuair ghlach sí pair san Éirí Amach mar chuid de Gharastún Lána Marrowbone. Ach, laistigh de dhá bhliain eile, bhí sí marbh go tragóideach. Ach, má bhí, bronnadh - in éinneacht leis an Bonn 1916 - Bonn Cogadh na nDúbhchrónach uirthí freisin!
Deineadh deamad ar Josie go dtí gur thosaigh Mícheál ag taighdeah a saoil gairid, agus creideann sé gur cóir go mbéadh sí onóirithe inniúde dheasca a tiomnú agus a chrógacht.
In Memoriam
I ndíl chuimhne

Too many friends and family have died since this site was launched. We cannot and will not allow them to be forgotten, so tributes to them all are on a special page here.

Shane Mac Thomais (20/03/2014)

Stanley (Stan) L. Devlin

John Heuston Devlin

Kathleen (Catherine) Price

Máire Eilis Beggs

Ag lorg altanna/
Finding Articles 

On the pages within this site are articles relating to the history of Kilmainham Gaol and its environs. However, due to the increasing number of articles we are carrying, not all are shown in the drop-down menus above.

To access an article first click on a section head above to go to the main page for that section. There you can select your interest from the drop-down menu or links to the articles which will be found on the page you land on.

Siege of the Four Courts 

talk now online

Liz Gillis (author of "The Fall of Dublin" and "Revolution in Dublin" - Mercier Press), and a contributor to this site, on Saturday March 29, gave a lecture on The Siege of the Four Courts 1922 to the Stoneybatter & Smithfield People's History Project

This was a bravura performance as Liz clearly demonstrated her deep knowledge and understanding of the events that started the Irish Civil War, not just during her talk but in her answers to the searching questions from the floor. 

To see and hear this talk in full, go here or to watch it on YouTube go here

For more on this talk see the Project's Facebook page here 

Female Transportation
to Australia - remembering Bridget Murray

25,600 females were transported to Australia from the so-called British Isles (Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales) from 1788 to 1853 for crimes as petty as 'stealing 12 potatoes". Almost half of these were Irish.  (More)

Some, of course, had committed graver crimes, and one such transported was Bridget Murray of East Clare, a poor, illiterate servant-girl who, beguiled by her lord and master, bore him a daughter in 1841. (More)


Kilmainham Tales Teo. is a publishing venture dedicated to issuing ‘pocket money’ books on all aspects of the history of Kilmainham Gaol and associated places, people and events. (More)

The Tales:
While 'popular' and 'non-academic', each Kilmainham Tale is a work of high scholarly standards. ..... In addition, each book is copiously illustrated with contemporary pictures and/or specially commissioned illustrations (More)

The Website:
This website is intended to be an online window for our books, but it is hoped it will grow to be more than that. We will carry news items relating to Kilmainham Gaol, the surrounding area and other areas that are of interest to the Gaol and its history. Here, too, you will find information on all our authors and their activities, for instance, as well as reviews of books by other writers and publishers.

Co-operation with other publishers:
Kilmainham Tales Teo. is not in competition with any other publisher. We wish to work in harmony with all and will gladly review fairly any relevant book we are given for review. The Irish history scene - especially the early 20th Century - is particularly blessed with many excellent publishers and historians, and we read and consult most of their books in the course of our own work. If any publisher wishes us to review a book, just send us a copy here

Readers' Forum:
If our readers have any comments, then we would be delighted to carry a selection of those too. Just e-mail us here.

Writers' Opinions:
Of course, a site such as this will contain many opinions. While these are welcome, they must always be understood to be the opinion of the writer, and not necessarily of the site or of Kilmainham Tales Teo. We welcome discussion, and will not stifle it, but if you write it, you are responsible for it!

An Gaeilge:
Dóibh siúd le Gaeilge, is oth linn a rá go bhfuil ár gcuid foilseacháin ar fad as Béarla go nuige seo.

Dá mbéadh éinne ag iarraigh scéal a fheilfeadh do'n tsraith a scríobh as Gaeilge, bhéadh fíor-fáilte dó san in ár oifig, agus gach seans go mbeimíd sásta é a fhoilsiú dá mbéadh sé de'n caighdeán ceart. Mar sin, bígí ag scríobh.

Ar ndóigh, cuirfear fáilte roimh gnáth comh-freagras as Gaeilge freisin.

We hope you enjoy our books and the information on this site, and will come back to us again ... and again. Recidivists are welcome here!

Mícheál Ó Doibhilín

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