So, What's Kilmainham Gaol Like For A First Date?

Chilled out spooky vibes

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It's easy to get boozy on dates. But we want to help you guys try something different.

So this week, being close to the centenary that's in it, we've decided to pick up where the Rising fell, Kilmainham Gaol.

A revered site known most prominently for its role in 1916 – where many of Ireland's political prisoners were incarcerated, tortured and executed – and less prominently for its spooky prison vibes. 

Ideal date territory then.

Let's break it down, shall we?

1. Risk Assessment

Suggesting this to your main squeeze will show that you're deep as the ocean and into freedom and stuff, which is always well received. 

Probably best to go with a pre-booked tour guide rather than chancing your arm amongst 100+ pre-pubescent school kids and/or fanny pack wearing Americans. 

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2. Damage Control

If awkward moments arise, remember that history is super suggestive and has been massively warped over the years by both nay-sayers and Christianity, so feel free to throw out some random historical statement and watch them fawn over how wildly learned you are. 

If you're up shit creek without a paddle, the historical site is served by the following Dublin busses: 23, 25, 25A, 26, 68 or 69. 

But don't forget: you're literally in a prison here. And dem walls ain't built to scale. So tread carefully.

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3. Scene And Be Seen

Unless you did history in college and one of your old course mates is working as a tour guide, the likelihood of you seeing someone you know is slim to zilch.

Although you may spot your little sister, as Kilmainham Gaol is like catnip to primary school teachers on tours.

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4. Going Well?

So you've found out that outside, under the very ground you're standing on, is where they buried the child offenders, and you're still managing to sweep them off their feet? Look at you go. 

You can keep on the cultural buzz by heading next door to IMMA, grab a bite to eat in the LimeTree Café or get a pint in any of the plethora or pubs surrounding the place.

We suggest The Royal Oak, just the cosy atmosphere you'll need after hearing about death for two hours.

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5. Clothes

Comfy and warm, you'll be walking and standing for the best part of the day. Don't be a big eejit and wear heels on cobblestones. You've been warned.

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6. Cost

Part of the Gaol is undergoing redevelopment at the moment, so at the minute you can frequent the castle for the low, low price of €4. 

When the Gaol gets its shit together, it goes back to the normal price of €7. All very non-bank breakable.

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7. Best Outcome

Do a Joseph Plunkett and get married in the prison chapel there and then. Go hard or go home.

Or, to be honest, getting out alive is quite a feat. Not many did in fairness, so pat yourself on the back. 

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8. Worst Outcome

The Rising 2.0 to break out while you're inside... that'd be unlucky.

Or in more realistic terms, your mates are going to echo ''I told you so'' for aeons afterwards, as you did in fact just take someone on an ill-fated date to an actual prison. 

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9. Overall Score

6.5/10. Bonus point if they've done their research, but take a point away for every time they utter ''Fuck, this is depressing''.

Happy wooing.

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Written By

Kate Demolder

Kate is a contributing writer here at Lovin Dublin. You are as likely to see her indulging in some of Dublin’s finer establishments, as well as panic-exercising the day after.

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