Friday the 13th seemed like an appropriate day to tour the famous Glasnevin Cemetery. The day was indeed gloomy, creepy, and rainy, which added to the experience of touring a cemetery. We started the tour at Daniel O’Connell’s tomb, which was one of the most extravagant tombs I have ever seen. The detail on his coffin and on the walls was incredible to see in person. The beauty of O’Connell’s final resting place truly exemplifies how important and influential he was to the Irish people. I happen to be writing this blog post in Rome, where O’Connell said he wanted his heart to be buried as his final wish. The heart is supposedly buried at Sant’ Agata dei Goti, which was the chapel of the Irish College in O’Connell’s time. The church is a small, non-symbolic building in the center of Rome; a place where one would not expect O’Connell’s heart to be buried. The heart was last seen a century ago, and there are many rumors about where the heart is currently.
The tour was not complete without the tour guide telling us about a woman who was buried alive at Glasnevin. The story lightened the mood and had everyone laughing. The woman was dug up by grave diggers shortly after she was buried. Little did the grave diggers know that they were in for a surprise that night. As the grave diggers were pulling her body out of the grave, she woke up from a coma and scared the grave diggers away. The tour guide said that the woman casually got up, walked home, and surprised her husband. I can imagine that her husband was very surprised to see his “dead” wife walk through the doorway.
Overall, the tour of Glasnevin Cemetery was a memorable experience. I left the cemetery with a new appreciation for Ireland’s history, and the people who made Ireland what it is today. All of my experiences in Ireland, including the tour of Glasnevin, have made it feel like a home to me now. After 10 days of travelling to Paris, Barcelona, and Rome I am excited to finally return to Dublin.