Glasnevin Cemetery, the largest cemetery in Ireland and certainly the first of its kind, is the final resting place for the men and women who helped make Ireland what it is today. From the opening of the gates in 1832, Glasnevin Cemetery has acted as Ireland’s National Cemetery.
Before the opening of Glasnevin Cemetery, the Irish Catholics had no cemeteries of their own and were buried in the Protestant Cemeteries. This would change following a public outcry that came after a funeral held in Dublin where a Catholic Priest was reprimanded by a Protestant sexton for performing a funeral mass. Daniel O’Connell responded to this by pushing for a cemetery where this would not be an issue and the Irish Catholics could be buried with dignity.
Glasnevin offers a glimpse into the past of Ireland and also a bit of the present with the State funerals of Kevin Barry and his comrades in October of 2001. There are said to be approximately 1.5 million people buried there. The architecture and mason work throughout the cemetery showcases some wonderful examples of Ireland’s great sculptors. Glasnevin has grown from its original 9 acres to a now 120 acres.
The medieval type wall surrounding the cemetery is enchanting and beautiful and adds a bit of mystique to the cemetery. There are also ten watchtowers on the grounds. These were originally built in the 19th century to keep body snatchers, also called Sack-em-ups, out of the cemetery.
Glasnevin Cemetery offers a series of walking tours throughout the grounds of the cemetery that takes about 1.5 hours. The tour will help you to understand the history of the cemetery as well as the men and women who have contributed to make Ireland what it is today. The tour also tells of the ordinary men and women buried there who have lived their lives and died in Ireland.
Glasnevin Cemetery is easily assessable from Dublin City Centre. Busses 13A, 19 and 19A can be taken from O’Connell Street and will stop at Harts Corner. This is an approximate 5-minute walk to the cemetery’s main entrance located on Finglas Road. Bus number 134 can be taken from Corn Exchange Street and will stop directly in front of the main entrance.
Enquires and bookings can be made by calling +353-830-1133.