In 1916 there was an Easter uprising in Dublin by the Irish who wanted a free state. The bullet marks still show on the main post office exterior walls from that early battle. After it was over the rebels were not hailed as heroes as the locals didn't appreciate the Brits shelling their city and blamed the rebels. But when they heard about the treatment of the rebels in Kilmainham jail, that's what rallied their cause.
One of the best books written about this event was by the imprisoned rebels themselves while they were awaiting their execution. It's called Last words: Letters and statements of the leaders executed after the Rising at Easter. It is relatively hard to find outside of Ireland; however it is one of the most moving books I have ever read. One of the letters even has the writer forgiving his jailers.
If you can't make it to Ireland, here's a link to the details about this famous jail (or gaol in Celtic). It will give you a feel for one of the most interesting historical sites to see in Ireland.
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