Vol. 9 No. 9 (2019): Whose Homelands? Fictions, Facts and Questions of the Irish Diaspora
Sezione monografica / Monographic Section

“This cemetery is a treacherous place”. The appropriation of political, cultural and class ownership of Glasnevin Cemetery, 1832 to 1909

Patrick Callan
Trinity College Dublin
Published June 11, 2019
How to Cite
Callan, P. (2019). “This cemetery is a treacherous place”. The appropriation of political, cultural and class ownership of Glasnevin Cemetery, 1832 to 1909. Studi Irlandesi. A Journal of Irish Studies, 9(9), 251-270. https://doi.org/10.13128/SIJIS-2239-3978-25516

Abstract

Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery became a focus of nationalist commemoration after 1832. The Irish diaspora in America celebrated it as the resting place of nationalist heroes, including Parnell, O’Connell and others linked with Irish Catholicity or culture. American newspapers reported on commemorations for the Manchester Martyrs and Parnell. The Dublin Cemeteries Committee (DCC) managed the cemetery. In the early 1900s, the DCC lost a political battle over who should act as guardian of the republican tradition in a tiny area of political property within the cemetery. A critical sequence of Young Irelander or Fenian funerals (Charles Gavan Duffy, James Stephens, and John O’Leary) marked the transfer of authority from the DCC to advanced nationalists. The DCC’s public profile also suffered during the 1900s as Dublin city councillors severely criticised the fees charged for interments, rejecting the patriarchal authority of the cemetery’s governing body.

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