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.