Bringing the dead back to life – A trip to Glasnevin Cemetery.

27 Nov

On Friday the 21st of November I went on a trip to Glasnevin Cemetery. The cemetery is home to over 1.5 million people who have helped shape Ireland today. Its wall hold rich antiquity and our very interactive tour allowed for a unique opportunity to learn more about Ireland’s fascinating history. The cemetery gave off an eerie feeling with its curvilinear paths and burial areas of greensward and tress. It contained an impressive variety of tombstone styles and funerary architecture. Every plot has a story; in fact some plots have more than one story. The cemetery contains a plethora of people; there are more Dubliners in the ground than on the ground. There is a large variety of monuments and memorials in Glasnevin. The Round Tower, commemorating Daniel O’Connell dominates the entrance gates with its Celtic cross and overall stunning architecture. Even though the graveyard is resting place for many influential people, according to the Irish Times, nearly 800,000 people have been buried in unmarked mass graves due to the enormous death toll from the Great Famine of the 1840s and the later cholera epidemic. Although visiting a cemetery seems a bit invasive and morbid, Glasnevin is a very special place. I learn more though experience which is why trips like these are effective in expanding my knowledge of Irish life and culture. Being able to physically see and even touch some of the graves made everything more authentic and vivid. The cemetery has an important place in the evolution of Ireland as a country but it is still an ongoing task with major expansions and refurbishment work being carried out in present time. Seeing where the past and present meet and overlap made the experience all the more interesting and stimulating.

-Dayna Fields

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