In Dublin today, we visited Kilmainham Gaol, and I remain stirred and haunted hours later. Ten years ago, I was roaming around an part of Ireland west of here while writing this book. I discovered a whole branch of Plunkett relations and, on the slimmest of evidence, quietly bonded myself to the memory of Joseph Mary Plunkett, one of the leaders of the Easter Uprising. Plunkett probably was not one of the key strategists, but something about his story, especially his marriage to Grace Gifford at the 11th hour before his execution, jolted the complacent into new spasms of nationalism. It seems like a joke about the Irish that a doomed love might speak to them more powerfully than their own natural desire for home rule, but that does seem to have been the case. Anyway, it was unsettling today to see his tiny cell and to walk in the rocky yard where the firing squad took him. That was hours ago, and we’ve since been to the Abbey Theatre to see “Drum Belly,” but I’m still in a Plunkett mood. (Hat tip to our guide Anthony, who does his job with a gavity for which we were grateful.) This was not his actual cell. This one is much nicer.