Glasnevin Cemetery

21 Nov

On Friday, November 21, we visited the Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin. Though the weather was not on our side, our tour guide gave us an amazing tour of the cemetery and gave us extensive facts on some of the important political figures who are buried there. One part I found extremely fascinating was when our guide took us into the tomb of Daniel O’Connell, an Irish political leader in the nineteenth century. He was well known for his peaceful pursuit of Catholic emancipation. His casket is under the large round tower on the cemetery grounds. I had learned a little about Daniel O’Connell in my classes. However, I learned a lot more during our tour of the cemetery. I was unaware that he had eight children, all of whom are buried alongside him in the tomb. Another thing I learned was that Daniel O’Connell, whose casket I was standing next to, did not have a heart inside him. Our tour guide told us the story about how he set on a pilgrimage to Rome. On the way there, he grew extremely sick while he was in Genoa Italy. When he was passing, he told the men around him that his last wish was to leave his heart in Rome. So, they did as he asked, and they cut his heart out of his chest and brought it to Sant’Agata dei Goti, a chapel of the Irish college in Rome. However, years later when they tried to retrieve his heart from the chapel, it had disappeared. The heart is still yet to be found. I could not believe this story when I heard it. My favorite fact that our tour guide told us was one that cemetery has over 1.4 million people buried there, which is more than there are living people in Dublin. I found this visit extremely interesting and I am pleased that I walked away with more knowledge of Daniel O’Connell, a man who is extremely important in the Irish culture.

-Hannah Gross

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