Glasnevin Cemetery

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Glasnevin Cemetery (Irish: Reilig Ghlas Naíon), officially known as Prospect Cemetery, is the largest nondenominational cemetery in Ireland. It first opened in 1832 and is located in Glasnevin, Dublin.



Prior to the establishment of Glasnevin Cemetery, Irish Catholics had no cemeteries of their own in which to bury their dead and as the repressive Penal Laws of the eighteenth century placed heavy restrictions on the public performance of Catholic services, it had become normal practice for Catholics to conduct a limited version of their own funeral services in Protestant cemeteries. This situation continued until an incident at a funeral held at St. Kevin's Cemetery in 1823, provoked public outcry when a Protestant sexton reprimanded a Catholic priest for proceeding to perform a limited version of a funeral mass.[1]

The outcry prompted Daniel O'Connell, champion of Catholic rights, to launch a campaign and prepare a legal opinion proving that there was actually no law passed forbidding praying for a dead Catholic in a graveyard. O'Connell pushed for the opening of a burial ground in which both Irish Catholics and Protestants could give their dead dignified burial.


The cemetery is located in Glasnevin, Dublin, in two parts. The main part, with its trademark high walls and watchtowers, is located on one side of the road from Finglas to the city centre, while the other part, "St. Paul's," is located across the road and beyond a green space, between two railway lines.


Glasnevin Cemetery contains many historically interesting monuments as well as the graves of many of Ireland's most prominent national figures — Charles Stewart Parnell and Daniel O'Connell as well as Michael Collins, Éamon de Valera, Arthur Griffith, Maude Gonne, Kevin Barry, Sir Roger Casement, Charles Gavan Duffy, George Gavan Duffy, Constance Markiewicz, Brendan Behan, Seán MacBride, Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa, Christy Brown, Frank Duff, Luke Kelly of the Dubliners. Boyzone singer Stephen Gately was cremated at Glasnevin Crematorium, which is located within the cemetery grounds, on October 17th, 2009.

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