Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Glasnevin Cemetery museum

As part of Heritage Week, Glasnevin Trust Museum gave free tours of Glasnevin Cemetery.

As well as being enjoyable, the tours were exceptionally suitable for Heritage Week: I hadn't realised just what a who's-who of modern Irish history and culture Glasnevin Cemetery is. Michael Collins, Dev, Brendan Behan (whose grave is often graced by a pint of stout), Big Jim Larkin, Charles Stewart Parnell, and Constance Markiewicz are there, along with over a million ordinary Dubliners. For some reason I was shocked to see Maud Gonne's grave; when a person is remembered as they were in their prime, and did not die a famous death, the thought of their ageing and death seems jarring.

The guide regaled us with stories about the cemetary, mixed in with a generous helping of relevant Irish history. I hadn't realised that grave-robbing had been quite a serious problem in Dublin for a time in the 1800s.

Most of all I was struck by the impact of the Liberator, Daniel O'Connell, who founded Glasnevin Cemetery. Has Ireland ever had a more truly world-class politician?

An excellent tour, highly recommended. The standard price is €5, and there are 3 tours per day, seven days per week. Oh, and visit the museum while you're there: it's very high quality, as you'd expect for the €11m spent on it.

Photos by RosieMonstre.

1 comment:

  1. I commend the new An Post Museum in the GPO to your attention as well. It's a small exhibit, but it's rather good.

    (Disclosure: An Post are a client of mine. I'd like the museum either way, though.)