Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sign of the day: Divine instructions

I'd like to think that angels would have more to do than to patrol lawns like grumpy old men.

Maybe this angel, while lounging on this vault in the historic Glasnevin Cemetery, can multi-task.

Hat tip to Peter Murphy for being the first one to point this one out to me.
Glasnevin technically is called the "Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum" because it features a lot of history, dead people and dead historic people.

Among some cool facts courtesy of our excellent tour guide are:
Pearse's reenacted speech at Rossa's grave.
  • The 1.5 million people buried there outnumber those living in Dublin. 

  • Daniel O'Connell, of whom President Barack Obama is a fan, founded it as a Catholic Cemetery as part of his fight for civil rights for Catholics.  He is buried in a monument that was once bombed during the Troubles in the 1980s.

  • Key figures related to the Easter Rising are buried there, such as Countess Markiewicz and the parents of Joseph Mary Plunkett. (The seven Proclamation signatories executed remain at Arbor Hill Cemetery.)

  • Charles Parnell, who was considered "Ireland's uncrowned king" in the late 1800s, is buried in a mount where 11,387 cholera victims also are buried. It is marked with a big rock that says "Parnell."

  • Thus, patriotism and religion seem sometimes blurred. While we were there, we saw a reenactment of Patrick Pearse's speech at the interment of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa, another patriot. Pearse was a writer of Thomas Jefferson proportions. And he apparently sparked something in the Irish people that day with phrases extolling their "unbreakable strength and spirit" and how the British "think they have pacified half of us and purchased the other half."

  • James Joyce's parents are there. 

  • There's a tavern, originally called the Gravediggers' Pub, located just outside the gate that was so popular the cemetery had to implement rules:
    The pub's now called "John Kavanagh's." Great tapas!
  1. Employees can't go during work hours. According to our guide, some cemetery workers went there for lunch one afternoon, and later that afternoon one digger (having downed too many pints) fell in the grave he was digging. That's just not fun. 
  2. No going to the pub before funerals. Supposedly a family showed up to bury a loved one, but decided to stop at the pub first. They apparently forgot about the funeral and left the coffin sitting around.
This is the former cholera pit where Charles Parnell also is buried.

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