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.
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.
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.
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.
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.