Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum
Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum is a large and very old cemetery.
Glasnevin cemetery and museum building
It was established in 1832, and since then, the cemetery has held the graves of some notable figures. Michael Collins, Daniel O’Connell, Éamon de Valera and more. People, who have helped to shape Irish history. The number of visitors and the public interest in the cemetery was so good that in 2010, a museum was also built on site.
Ever since, the cemetery has evolved into an organization that hosts tours, events and trips for schools. If you are looking for things to do in Dublin, this cemetery has a lot of interesting things about it. The history of the cemetery and its significance in Irish history are reason alone to give this place a visit when you are in Dublin.
What is the Glasnevin Cemetery?
The Glasnevin Cemetery is a burial ground for Irish Catholics. It is situated on Finglas Road in the Glasnevin area. Actually, this was the first cemetery for Irish Catholics in Dublin, meant to cater to the need of a growing population of the religion. It was also problematic and challenging for Catholics because the Penal Laws had inhibited any and all practice of Catholic services. The Catholics were forced to conducted shrunken down versions of their ceremonies and outside of public view. They also buried their dead in Protestant Churchyards.
It was a similar occasion in 1823, when a Catholic burial in St. Kevin’s Churchyard initiated a kerfuffle which evolved into an outcry. Daniel O’Connell who was the champion and the voice for Catholic rights to launch a campaign and a legal struggle to get a Church and a cemetery built for Catholics. Actually, his demand was to establish a burial ground where both Protestants and Catholics would have the liberty to bury their dead. As a result of his efforts, the Glasnevin Cemetery was consecrated in 1832. It was at such a time, that the very next day, the burial of an eleven-year old boy was performed. Initially, the cemetery was named Prospect Cemetery, only to be changed later.
Glasnevin Cemetery renovations and expansion
Originally, O’Connell’s efforts afforded the cemetery a total land of 9 acres. Over the centuries, however, the cemetery has grown into a 124-acre expanse. There is actually an expanse on the other side of the road. It has always been a burial ground till 1982. Since then, the cemetery also provides cremation services. Since the cemetery has attracted a massive public attention, it is frequently renovated, the beautiful and intricate tombstones are renovated and fixed. New extensions are also frequently applied. Many Catholics from Ireland and Catholic tourists from all over the world also attend the Sunday Mass at 9.45 am. Another event that is attended by a large number of people is the annual blessing of graves. It has been performed every summer since the cemetery was founded.
Significant Memorials at Grasnevin Cemetery
Daniel O’Connell, the man behind the cemetery is himself buried here. His grave is the site where the iconic round tower is built. It can be seen from anywhere in the cemetery and the surrounding grounds. It is visited by a lot of people every year. Other memorials include the grave of Michael Collins who was a nationalist leader. He died during the Irish Civil War of 1922. His grave is surrounded by graves of 183 soldiers who also died fighting for the Irish Free State. A memorial was established around the grave of Collins, and on this memorial, the names of all his martyred comrades were recorded.
Although Michael Collins’s grave is perhaps the most visited grave in the entire cemetery, there are other notable figures buried there too. These include Charles Stewart Parnell, Eamon de Valera, Kevin Barry, Arthur Griffith, Frank Duff and many more. Another mass grave was built to bury the remains of the dead discovered in a Magdalene laundry.
Glasnevin Cemetery Museum
The museum, named the Glasnevin Trust Museum was opened in 2010. The museum features many documents regarding the dead buried in this cemetery. It also has extensive information and displays regarding the notable events held in the cemetery and the prominent people buried here. The museum is very helpful for tourists because it helps them to find the notable graves.
Glasnevin Cemetery Tours
Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum both tell stories of over 1.5 million people. From the ordinary to the truly extraordinary and very well known figures, who helped shape Ireland.
Glasnevin Cemetery Museum offers engaging and entertaining education programme for schools. On a tour you visit graves of famous people, explore interactive exhibitions and more.
Take a tour of the cemetery and visit the museum to hear the stories. You can also do a genealogy search for your family history.
Book Glasnevin Tour
Avoid disappointment and book a tour online on the website.
Click the “Book Tickets” button at top right.
This will bring you to the ticket page. Select the appropriate ticket available and complete the booking.
For booking enquiries:
For group bookings contact Bookings Coordinator:
+353 1 882 6550
There are a few extra services which are also provided at the Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum. This is one of few cemeteries which allows for the burial of stillborn babies. A plot area called the Angels plot is specified and set aside for this purpose. The cemetery, since 1982 also has a crematorium where the dead are brought for cremation. For the tourists, Glasnevin Trust hosts guided tours that walk them through some of the more prominent graves and tombstones in the cemetery.
The Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum is packed with memories of days gone. Nowhere in Dublin is the history of Ireland more real than the Glasnevin Cemetery Museum. It is here that all the different phases of history come together to form one continuous timeline. The tombstones themselves are a sight to behold. They are taller than most people. Their designs are majestic and the immense number of graves is truly majestic to look at. The museum also helps tourists to understand the significance of the place.
A visit to Glasnevin Cemetery is one of the best things to do in Dublin.