A Tour of a Cemetery

I was back in my home city of Dublin last weekend and for once was blessed with some good weather! Mide – she of the ‘Discover Dublin’ mini-tours (only available on request) suggested a visit to Glasnevin Cemetery, followed by a pint and a toasted sandwich in the Gravedigger’s pub (AKA Kavanagh’s).

For anyone visiting Dublin, I would highly recommend it.

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The girl who gave us the tour, which lasted around 1h30mins, was really helpful, clear and interesting, it goes without saying that a bit of knowledge of Irish history is helpful but even if you know nothing about it the tour is still great. She had plenty of interesting nuggets of information – thinks I didn’t know for example:

  • Charlie Chaplin visited James Larkin when he was imprisoned in America – in my google search to find more information on this I discovered this blog: http://comeheretome.com/2011/04/28/time-to-move-charlie-to-oconnell-street/ which I’m now going to spend hours browsing through!
  • Maud Gonne’s son Sean MacBride co-founded Amnesty International
  • At the exact moment Charles Stewart Parnell’s body was being lowered into the grave a white light passed through the sky and was seen by a large part of the 200,000 people who attended.  Only in recent years did research show that a meteor passed through the sky over Dublin at that exact moment..
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We headed to Kavanagh’s, aka the Gravedigger’s Pub which is at one of the gates of the Cemetery – this is a fascinating place, it has been in the same family for 7 generations (we learned this on the tour – it’s so famous it’s in the tour!) The toasted sandwich did not happen, instead we indulged in some tapas – how terribly continental and not at all Irish! BUT it was delicious, and the staff were so friendly.  Not only that, but a mere week later and this was published – as Mide said we capture the zeitgeist!

Here are a few snaps of what we saw on the day …

The Women

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Kitty Kiernan



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Elizabeth O’Farrell



The Men

Daniel O'Connell Coffin-1

Daniel O’Connell’s Coffin – I touched it for good luck as is tradition

Daniel O'Connell Coffin-1-2

Michael Collins

De Valera

De Valera