The kids and I took a museum tour around Glasnevin Cemetery on the anniversary of the Rising
As we all know Michael Collins was a legend who had fought for Independence for our Country, one hundred years ago. He also signed a peace treaty and unfortunately was killed a short time later. Any time I visit Glasnevin, fresh flowers are laid to rest on Collins grave and when we went this time, there was an abundance of beautiful bouquets with all sorts of notes of admiration to our hero. Beside his grave was a list of all the people from the Irish Republican Brotherhood.
We walked around the museum and learnt about the grave diggers who would get very thirsty after a hard day’s work. Kavanagh’s pub is situated very close by and so after work they would stop off for a pint or two before heading home to their families. At one stage the gates leading to the pub were closed so their drinks were passed through the bars of the gate. This pub then became known as the Gravediggers pub, and to this day is very popular. A lot of movies have been filmed in this now very famous pub.
A long time ago, when scientists did not have enough corpses, they would pay someone to dig up the bodies and sell them off to the labs for research. These people became known as The Grave Robbers. However since then, Glasnevin built huge walls around the cemetery to keep these robbers out. However, the Grave Robbers not only stole the bodies, sometimes they would cut their fingers off to take the rings and other jewellery of the bodies and sell them on to someone else. They got scared when they tried to rob a ring from the finger of a woman called Margorie McCall, as they cut into it, she bled and the robbers ran off in fright. She had woken from a coma and decided to get herself out of the coffin and pay a visit to her husband. You can imagine how that turned out!
The museum gave us the name of the first person to be buried in the cemetery and that was little Michael Carey, around 1832. Since then over a million people are buried here.
We moved on from the dark museum upstairs to information about the 1916 rising. One of the first victims of the Rising to be buried in Glasnevin, was little Sean Foster. He was caught in the cross fire when the fighting was taking place and bullets were shot. After his buriel, there was at least forty other children killed in the Rising.
It was very interesting to read about all the people who put their lives on the line for freedom of our country. The Rising army uniforms were on display for us to look at.
Upstairs in the museum you could view a huge part of the cemetery and all the famous people buried there.
Glasnevin is not just a cemetery, it is a museum steeped in history.