Listen to the quiet for a just a moment…can you hear their whispers? The one and a half million souls buried around you want to tell their stories. Stories of lives gone too early, of murders and plagues, of civil unrest and cries for justice. Since 1832, the Glasnevin Cemetery Dublin has been the final mortal resting place of so many of Dublin’s own. There is a complete history of the country within the walls of 124 acres and those who now call it home want to share their stories with you.
This non-denominational cemetery opened to the public for the first time on 21 February 1832. The first burial, that of eleven year old Michael Carey from Francis Street in Dublin, took place on the following day in a section of the cemetery known as Curran’s Square. Children play a large part of Glasnevin’s history with two Angel’s Plots especially for babies. In the field behind the angel lies the unmarked graves of over 50,000 of Dublin’s babies and children.
Glasnevin Cemetery is also the resting place of many of Ireland’s most prominent national figures. These include the graves of Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith, Maude Gonne, Kevin Barry, Roger Casement, Constance Markievicz, Pádraig Ó Domhnaill, Seán MacBride, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, Frank Duff, and Brendan Behan.
According to his dying wish, Daniel O’Connell’s heart was buried in Rome (at Sant’ Agata dei Goti,, then the chapel of the Irish College), and the remainder of his body in Glasnevin Cemetery Dublin, beneath a round tower. His tower stands as a proud monument to the works of this great Irishman.
A visit to the graves wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Glasnevin Cemetery Museum. Inside you’ll learn a little about the lives of those buried and those who took the job of “UN-buryng the dead”. Grave-robbing was a big business for medical schools and intrepid physicians consumed with learning about disease first-hand. The museum does an excellent job of exhibiting exactly how the grave-robber conducted his grim business.
The Museum is open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm and Sat-Sun 11am-5pm with daily tours at 11:30am and 2:30pm (w/additional 1pm tour July and Aug). It’s easy to get to the cemetery on Bus 40 from Parnell Square or Bus 140 from O’Connell St. The cemetery is constructed in the Garden style, with wide avenues and beautiful trees to complete the park-like setting. Their final resting place at Glasnevin Cemetery is a fitting tribute to those who helped shape the Ireland of today.
Explore the Glasnevin Cemetery along with over 30 other attractions using the Dublin Pass.