Today the building symbolises the tradition of militant and constitutional nationalism from the rebellion of 1798 to the Irish Civil War of 1922-23.
It should not be forgotten however that, as a county gaol, Kilmainham held thousands of ordinary men, women and children. Their crimes ranged from petty offences such as stealing food to more serious crimes. Convicts from many parts of Ireland were held here for long periods waiting to be transported to Australia.
In more recent years, the Kilmainham Gaol Museum has been featured in many films such as The Italian Job, In the Name of the Father or Michael Collins.