Glasnevin Trust recently announced the reopening of Goldenbridge Cemetery as a working graveyard and held its reopening on May 14th 2017 as part of Culture Date with Dublin 8. 189 years on from the first burial and 148 years since its “closure”, Glasnevin Trust has decided to reopen the cemetery for public use. The opening coincided with the annual Daniel O’Connell commemoration.
Founded in 1828 by Daniel O'Connell, Goldenbridge Cemetery was the first of its kind in Ireland. A non- denominational, garden cemetery that welcomed those of all religions and none in the wake of the Penal Laws, and took inspiration from the famous Pére Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. It was closed to the public in 1869, following a dispute with the British War Office that operated at nearby Richmond Barracks, and has remained closed since. Only families that had purchased plots before the closure were permitted to use the cemetery for burial purposes until now.
The event was marked by a small concert to recognise the rededication of Goldenbridge Cemetery and the annual Daniel O’Connell commemoration. The concert included a re-enactment of Daniel O’ Connell’s ‘speech of the establishment of the non-denomination cemetery’, musical recitals by St. James’s Brass and Reed Band and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, a lecture on the history of the cemetery from Professor Maurice Bric, and an ecumenical blessing. This was followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the steps of the Mortuary Chapel in remembrance of Daniel O’Connell.
Goldenbridge Cemetery contains many historically significant and interesting graves within its walls. Those whose last resting place it holds include:
W.T. Cosgrave: Politician, revolutionary, first head of government of the Irish Free State and one of the most influential political figures of 20th century Ireland.
Frank Burke: Member of the Irish Volunteers who was killed in the fighting at the South Dublin Union and step-brother of W.T. Cosgrave
Patrick O’Kelly: A veteran of the 1798 Rebellion in Kildare who later published an account of his experiences including his role in the surrender of the United Irishmen in the area.
Eugene Lynch: An 8-year-old child killed during the 1916 Rising. One of forty children to lose their lives during the fighting.
Mary Anne Jenkins: A member of Cumann na mBan who served during the 1916 Rising, War of Independence and Civil War.
Andrew Clinch: A doctor and rugby player who played for Ireland between 1892 and 1897. He was picked for the British Lions team that toured South Africa in 1896 and was later President of the IRFU.
Thomas O’Flanagan: A United Irishman and printer to the prominent revolutionary figures and movements of the late 18th and early 19th Century; from Lord Edward Fitzgerald to the Young Irelanders.
Photographs by Marc O'Sullivan http://marcosullivan.photoshelter.com/