Saturday 21 February 2015

Glasnevin Cemetery

During my tour around the city today I took a short detour through Glasnevin Cemetery. It’s a an amazing place, definitely worth a visit and if you haven’t done one of the tours then sort that our, their tours are one of the best things to do in Ireland as a tourist.

Anyway I just went for a stroll and took some pictures. The light was lovely but the temperature was plummeting and I was getting way too cold to be taking the time needed to set up the sort of shots this place deserves. So I will got back but these can do as a sort of amuse bouche.

This was from a recently restored gravestone from ( I think) Louise Casey from Leixlip who died sometime in the 19th century. Her husband was a fairly committed Irish nationalist, and presumably she was too but nobody seemed to see fit to make that point on the headstone. In any case the gold inlay is unusual, and it is quite a beautiful bit of stone carving and the effect was quite evocative.

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Daniel O’Connell’s rather epic grave – I’m pretty sure that a 30m Round Tower is pretty much unique in that regard.

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The vaults around O’Connell’s grave are pretty imposing. We’re not quite in Roman\Vatican territory here but it is highly unusual to see sculpture of this quality in any other graveyard in the country. I find these two pictures particularly pleasing as I took them both standing barely 10 metres apart looking more or less in the same direction. The weather was truly weird today.

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Say what you like about all the rest. Parnell wins on style. Chunk of Wicklow granite. Epic.

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The war graves commission memorial to the fallen of WWII was quite special. Those who have issues with this, and the Lutyen’s War Memorial Garden in Islandbridge, need to think long and hard about the role played by Irish people in the defeat of fascism and the defence of small nations.

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There is just an endless supply of incredible stone carving. The design on the left is from the headstone on the grave of Sean T. O’ Ceallaigh, but there is literally a sea of such beautiful work to be found if you look.

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By far the most interesting spot that I found was a second set of circular vaults. It kind of captures all of what I thought Glasnevin would be about, and which it isn’t really, but it’s nice to see that parts of it are. I think it’s just that it’s just so big that there had to be a spot like this, after all there are a million people buried here and you kind of feel that in your bones when you are walking through it.

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The light was really working well at this point but I was struggling to keep my shadow out of the photos. Then I thought I should probably just go with it, and there is something fitting about shadow selfies taken in the biggest graveyard in the country.

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I’m thinking I may use this one as my new profile picture.

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Anyway Glasnevin Cemetery, epic spot to go and spend some time in Dublin. Give it a go, you wont regret it.

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