Glasnevin cemetery, established in 1832, was a great experience not because the cemetery is so different from cemeteries in America, but also because of the significance of those who are buried there. The population of Dublin is approximately 1.4 million people, but in the Glasnevin cemetery there are about 1.5 million people buried there. There are literally more people in Glasnevin cemetery than there are walking around Dublin, which is quite an unsettling thought. If there was to be a zombie apocalypse anytime soon, the living would surely lose that battle.
Apart from potential destruction via immortal beings, the cemetery is an eternal home to some of the most famous and influential people throughout Ireland’s history. Daniel O’Connell the Irish political leader who was known for his campaigning for Catholic Emancipation, is buried in his own unique mausoleum. Because the Penal Laws put such heavy restrictions on Catholics, their burial accommodations were often neither thorough or satisfactory. Therefore, Daniel O’Connell fought for the rights of the Catholics and longed to create a burial ground in which Protestants and Catholics could be treated equally, particularly in death.
The nature of this cemetery is quite different from ones in the United States. We were told that the cemetery is known for its “park-like atmosphere” and the citizens of Dublin are encouraged to walk around and ride their bikes in the cemetery. There is a very welcoming feel in Glasnevin Cemetery that is not very prominent in American cemeteries. I think that may be because Irish culture often embraces the afterlife and are very fond of religion as America is quite afraid of death and has recently begun to dismiss religion blatantly. I found that the welcoming nature of the cemetery was very intriguing and refreshing.