Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, Vol 6, No 1 (2019)

Material and Intangible Interventions as Future- Making Heritage at Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin

Laura McAtackney
Issued Date: 26 Jun 2019


This paper uses archaeological studies of political imprisonment in Ireland to show how (im)material interventions at Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin are central to understanding evolving identity and memory in post-partition Ireland. This heritage prison is not only an “icon” of historical struggle, it is a material entity where archaeological methodologies can help to uncover the past realities of imprisonment. Furthermore, it is a highly political place in the present where conflict continues regarding who “wins” the peace in the realm of public memory. This paper argues that archaeological approaches to a transitional heritage site are ideally placed to illuminate not only experiences of its functional past but also its evolving relationship with contemporary society as a form of future-making.

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DOI: 10.1558/jca.34566


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