Former Governor of Mountjoy prison John Lonergan launched Wicklow Historic Gaols new €240,000 multi-sensory journey supported by Failte Ireland on Wednesday night.
Launching the new experience, Mr. Lonergan called on people to consider the vicious savagery and brutality of 18th century prison life before insisting on harsher punishment for criminals.
“Wicklow Gaol is an eye-opener showing the extremes of inhumanity. It is so important to be aware of this history at a time when people are calling for tougher regimes and more punishment.”
Wicklow Gaol was a centre of crime, cruelty and misery during two of the most turbulent centuries of Irish history (1703 – 1924). For crimes as petty as stealing some bread, men, women and even children would be brought through the iron ‘Gates of Hell’ where they faced torture, starvation and brutality from the cruel jailers.
Lonergan said: “The fate of the prisoners was dependent totally on who was in charge and many of them were cruel villains. The regimes were horrific“
Hear a report on RTE’s Morning Ireland here