Friday 18 June 2010

O'Connell's Crypt

The Official Hint for today will be coming a bit later. In the meantime, here are pictures from my last visit (for the time being) to Glasnevin Cemetery. Máire Áine and I decided to complete our experience by going on the guided tour. You pay €5 and, overall, the tour’s not bad (not amazing, but not bad). However, the money is completely and utterly worth it because as part of the tour you go inside Daniel O’Connell’s crypt. (O'Connell in a nutshell: Irish politician, orator, leader of movement for Catholic Emancipation in 19th century, known as The Liberator.)

O’Connell is supposed to have said that when he died to send ‘my body to Ireland, my heart to Rome, my soul to Heaven’. I’m really not sure about the second and third part but after some negotiation his body was sent to Ireland from Rome for burial in the Cemetery he helped establish. Funds were raised to build the huge round tower that now stands by the entrance to the Cemetery and his body was put in a specially decorated crypt at the base.

It has been refurbished and it looks amazing. More roundels, shamrocks, gold and curlicues than you can shake a stick at.

The coffins of various relatives are in a room to one side:

The bands around the walls list O'Connell's major achievements.

The O'Connell family crest is a reoccurring motif in the decor:

Supposedly it's lucky to touch the coffin, so of course we did. Máire Áine claims it was especially lucky for her since she and Daniel O'Connell share a birthday. When we emerged from the crypt, the sun started to shine so maybe she's on to something.

1 comment:

  1. I like that his relatives appear to have been stacked on each other in what looks like a very morbid game of Jenga.