The restoration work taking place at Kilmainham Gaol is carried out with voluntary labour and funded by donations and visitors fees.

Work at Kilmainham has been going on for five years financed by donations. One recent donor gave £1,000 and described the reconstruction of the jail as, 

A unique example of practical patriotism

Pearse McLoughlin of the Kilmainham Gaol Restoration Committee explains that some of the labourers are ex-IRA men but many have no connection to any political movement or group. They see their work as a way of paying tribute. The committee is adamant that the work on the jail should be done on a voluntary basis to honour the dead.

Inside the prison, Cathal O'Shannon is shown the cell of Mrs Grace Plunkett who was held there in 1923 and had decorated the cell with an illustration of the Madonna on the wall. The restoration work includes a reproduction of this illustration.  

While much of the work has been done Pearse McLoughlin anticipates that it will take another five years before the jail will look as it did 100 years ago. 

A Newsbeat report broadcast on 15 December 1965. The reporter is Cathal O'Shannon.