Glasnevin Cemetery Trip

24 Oct

The visit to the Glasnevin Cemetery was one of both mystery and interest. On the mystery side, I found the secrecy behind the grave robbing a bit strange. Not only does the idea of grave robbing sound haunting in itself, I can’t bring myself to think about why anyone would want to dig up a dead body, especially one of little to no value. Not only is it incredibly creepy but also rude and disrespectful to someone who was once alive and now lies defenseless 6 feet below the ground.

Cemeteries have always been a bit spooky to me and the fact that over 250,000 people are buried in this one place makes it even worse. It’s hard to comprehend that only ¼ the size of Dublin is buried in such a tiny area. As well, I was astounded by the fact that some of the headstones dated back to periods in the early 19th century. Although the history behind some of these people is not always relevant or interesting to me, the fact that some ofthese headstones have been there for so long is just hard to believe. 

x_glasnevin

However, visiting Daniel O’Connell’s coffin was more interesting than creepy. Firstly, the fact that he was built under a tall tower demonstrates even further his contribution to the Irish people. Even more fascinating was the fact that the tower had been bombed in 1971. I found this interesting as it also shows the loyalist’s perspective to this man and the impact he had on Irish culture. Another example of how important this man still is to Irish people is the fact that ordinary people pay large sums of money to be placed around O’Connell’s burial just to be close to the man. I think this speaks loads about how grateful and important a man he was even decades after he died.

Lastly, it occurred to me while we were on the tour through the cemetery that a few people were wandering around the graves. It didn’t seem like they were looking for anyone in particular but rather just looking and reading about who they were. I found this particularly confusing because I couldn’t imagine visiting someone’s grave who I didn’t no or had any relation with. A part of me believes it’s a polite thing Catholics do to honor those who have moved on to the afterlife but really I’m just not sure.

– Philip Sypolt

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