Where one million Dubliners reside

We visited Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin recently, we booked tickets for the museum and got the guided tour, if you are visiting Glasnevin, the tour is well worth it and gives you a great history of the cemetery and some of the people buried there, from ordinary Dublin people who died of cholera, the Great Liberator Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stuart Parnell and the Republican plot with Michael Collins, Eamon DeValera and Constance Markievicz to name a few buried there.

Glasnevin Cemetery Tour Dublin (10)
Parnell stated he wanted to be buried with the ordinary people, he is buried on the top of this cholera pit.

 

As it was coming up to Easter, the tour we did, had an Easter Rising theme and two actors in costume, performed speeches as Nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell and actor Jim Roche, performed the famous O’Donovan Rossa funeral oration as Padraig Pearse. The tour guide recounted stories about those killed during the Rising, from soldiers to children playing on the streets and also about two brothers buried in the cemetery, one was killed fighting in the Easter Rising and the second brother joined the British Army and was killed during World War 1.

Glasnevin Cemetery O'Connells Round Tower
O’Connells Round Tower

 

Glasnevin Cemetery Tour Dublin
Daniel O’Connell’s Book of Kells inspired designed crypt

 

Before the tour, I didn’t realise there was a museum at the cemetery, I wasn’t expecting much from it, but its worth a visit and is really interesting, it tells the history and the lives of some of the 1.5 million people that are buried there.  There are three sections to the museum, the first exhibition area is called City of the Dead and has interactive display’s and covers the burial practices down through the years in Glasnevin. Other sections include the religion wall and the Milestone Gallery.

Glasnevin Cemetery Tour Dublin (15)
There are two public tours daily, at 11.30 am and 2.30 pm, 7 days a week.

 

Our tour guide that day was Shane, he was great, we like getting guided tours especially when you know the person delivering them is passionate and knowledgeable about the subject. Poignantly, Shane explained that his colleague Shane MacThomais, who had sadly passed away only a few weeks beforehand, he would usually have given the Easter themed tour and he said it was one of the first he had done, since his passing.  A few months after, we did the tour, we went to see the documentary, One Million Dubliners at the Lighthouse Cinema, which features Shane MacThomais, the documentary has also been shown on RTE TV, if you get the chance to watch it, I recommend it.

Glasnevin Cemetery Tour Dublin (14)

We have visited Glasnevin cemetery for a second time this year, when we attended the 100th anniversary service of the O’Donovan Rossa funeral.

If you would like to visit the graves of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, check out our blog post here.

1916 Rebellion Walking Tour



We recently did the 1916 rebellion walking tour in Dublin city centre.  It is a walking tour based on the history of the Easter rising and encompasses some of the main streets and buildings that were involved in the battles.

Easter rising walking tour
Meeting point for the 1916 rebellion walking tour

The tour meeting point is The International Bar on Wicklow street in Dublin 2,  we did the tour on a Sunday and it started at 1pm and tickets cost €12.  The tour gets a mix of tourists from around the world and locals.  The guide Lorcan gave a background outlining the Easter rising before we headed off.

Trinity Dublin
Trinity College Dublin

We then headed over to Trinity College.  The guide explained how the British used Trinity College as an Army Base during the Rising and were able to use the roof of Trinity College to their advantage. He also told an interesting story about an Australian solder in the British Army.

Trinity College
Roof of Trinity College
View from Trinity College towards O'Connell Street
View from Trinity College looking towards O’Connell Street


We then walked up in the direction of O’Connell Street and the General Post Office, the GPO,  which was the rebel headquarters during the Rising.

GPO Dublin
General Post Office Dublin

Then to Moore Street which was quiet, as it was a Sunday, the majority of the fish, veg and flower stalls were closed, only one flower stall and a fruit and veg stall were opened for business on the Sunday we visited. Moore street has seen better days with the Ilac shopping centre looking a bit dilapidated, its brings the street down.

Moore Street Dublin
Flower stalls in Moore street in Dublin 1

There are 3 buildings on Moore street connected to the 1916 rising, Padraig Pearse, along with nurse Elizabeth Farrell and a group of volunteers took refuge in one of these buildings and then ended up breaking the wall through to the next building.  In these buildings on Moore street, the last army council meeting took place and the decision to surrender was made.

Moore Street 1916 buildings
1916 buildings where Padraig Pearse , Mairead Farrell and up to 100 other volunteers spent the last days of the rising

Michael Joseph The O’Rahilly was a founding member of the Irish volunteers and managed the journal An Claidheamh Soluis.  He was against an uprising taking place as he knew any such actions would result in defeat, just before the Rising started, he travelled around the country informing volunteers to not take up arms but by the time he arrived back to Dublin, soldiers had begun to mobilise at Liberty Hall, so he decided to join them,  he stated “Well, I’ve helped to wind up the clock — I might as well hear it strike!”

The O’Rahilly came under attack as he lead a group of soldiers who were looking for an escape route out of the GPO. He died in a lane off Moore street, now renamed The O’Rahilly parade. As he lay dying, he penned a letter to his wife, which has been recreated as a poignant plaque on the lane.

O'Rahilly Plaque
Plaque for  Michael Joseph The O’Rahilly

On Moore Street, there are plaques commemorating the 1916 leaders, which quite controversially, are erected on the gates of an apartment complex, perhaps this was only meant to be a temporary commemoration but it is not very appropriate.  It will be interesting to see how the 1916 commemoration visitor centre planned for Moore street will help to honour the memory of all those involved in the 1916 rising.

1916 Leaders Plaques on Moore Street
1916 Leader plaques that are erected on apartment car park gates on Moore Street

The 1916 rebellion walking tour is very interesting and well worth doing, it gives a great insight into the events that unfolded during the Easter rising and been able to see many of the streets and buildings where the battles were fought.



 

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