President opens Wicklow Gaol
Seventy four years after it was last used for its original purpose as a dark, dismal place which was viewed with horror by many, Wicklow's Historic Gaol entered a brighter chapter in its history last Saturday.
When President Mary McAleese turned the key in the main Gaol door at about 2.35 p.m. in front of a crowd of hundreds, she was doing so not to allow a group of convicts to be taken in, but to open up the building to a new type of visitor.
President McAleese paid tribute to Wicklow County Council for going ahead with the restoration project.
'It is a magnificent achievement,' she told the onlookers, 'and one that will stand as a tribute to the Council's vision and commitment.'
Wicklow Gaol was restored at a cost of £2m under the direction of County DEvelopment Officer, Tom Broderick, having once been an infamous place of detention which was used to house thousands.