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We area a couple of taphophiles who enjoy visiting cemeteries and taking photographs. Lucas is from Brisbane, Australia and Mandie is from Dublin, Ireland. All photos on this site are the property of the respected author and may not be used for financial or personal gain of any kind. We ask that you respect the author/photographer by not using photos unless given specific consent by the person owning said photos.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Daniel O'Connell

Daniel O'Connell

On Saturday, 9th May I visited Glasnevin Cemetery and was excited to find Daniel O'Connells crypt open to the public. Every other time I have visited it has been locked. On entering it I was in awe of the art work embellishing the walls and the size of the tomb itself. I was like an excited child running around taking photographs before anyone else came in and ruined the ambiance! My kids found the visit educational as well as exciting too and they took their own photographs to show their respective teachers at school on Monday morning!

Daniel O’Connell was born near Cahirciveen, Co. Kerry, on 6 August 1775. His wealthy childless uncle adopted him at an early age and brought him up at Derrynane. He spoke Irish and was interested in the traditional culture of song and story still strong in Kerry at the time. He also understood how the rural mind worked which served him well in later years. In 1791 he was sent to school at St. Omer and Douai and what he saw there of the French Revolution left him with a life-long hatred of violence. He read law at Lincoln’s Inn (1794 -96) and continued his studies in Dublin where he was called to bar in 1798. He had soon built up an enormous practice. The 1798 rising and the terrible butchery that followed it confirmed his horror of violence. While he approved of the principles of the United Irishmen, their call for reform and for Catholic Emancipation, he disagreed with their methods.

O’Connell married his cousin, Mary O’Connell, in 1802; their marriage was happy and eleven children were born to them, though only seven survived (four sons and three daughters). In 1815 O’Connell criticised harshly the Dublin corporation. O’Connell was challenged to a duel by one member D’Esterre. In the exchange of shots D’Esterre was killed and O’Connell vowed never to fight again. (See also John "Fireball" MacNamara). O’Connell was soon drawn into political action. Hopes of Catholic emancipation had been raised by promises given while the act of union was being passed. In 1823, O’Connell founded the Catholic Association. The aim of the organisation was to use all the legal means available to secure emancipation. It turned into a mass crusade with the support of the Catholic clergy. All members of the association paid a membership of a penny a month (the Catholic rent). This helped to raise a large fund.

The Clare election in 1828 was a turning point. O’Connell, with the support of the forty-shilling freeholders, managed a huge victory against the government candidate. He was well supported by the clergy whose influence on the poor uneducated peasant class was enormous. The polling took place in Ennis at the old courthouse where the O’Connell monument now stands. At the final count, O’Connell was elected by a majority of about eleven hundred votes. The ascendancy party had suffered its first big knock since 1798.

The whole country was aflame. The British Government feared a rising and granted Catholic emancipation in April 1829. The franchise was, however, raised to 10 pounds which excluded the forty-shilling freeholders. O’Connell was now the undisputed leader in Ireland and he gave up his practice at the bar to devote his time entirely to politics. At the King’s insistence, O’Connell was not allowed to take his seat until he had been re-elected for Clare. In February 1830, O’Connell became the first Catholic in modern history to sit in the House of Commons.

For the rest of his life, he was supported by “The O’Connell Tribute”, a public collection out of which O’Connell paid all his expenses. O’Connell now decided to concentrate on winning repeal of the act of union and getting an Irish parliament for the Irish people. British political leaders feared repeal as they did not fear emancipation. They saw repeal of the Act of Union as the first step in the break-up of the act of union, as the spirit of the repeal movement was revived when the young Ireland writers wrote about it in the Nation.In 1841, O’Connell was elected Lord Mayor of Dublin and in 1843 the subscriptions to his Repeal Association, the Repeal “Rent” came to 48,400 pounds. He now began to organise monster meetings throughout the country. It is thought that three-quarters of a million people gathered on the hill of Tara to hear the man they called the “Liberator”. The government became alarmed at the strength of the Repeal Movement and a meeting which O’Connell had planned for 8 October 1843 in Clontarf, Dublin was banned. Huge crowds were already on their way when O’Connell called off the meeting to avoid the risk of violence and bloodshed.

He was charged with conspiracy, arrested and sentenced to a year in jail and a fine of 2,000 pounds. The sentence was set aside after O’Connell had been three months in prison. When he was released he continued with his campaign for repeal. However, a turning point had been reached. The tactics that had won emancipation had failed. O’Connell was now almost seventy, his health failing and he had no clear plan for future action. There was discontent within the Repeal Association and the Young Irelanders withdrew. There was also some failure in the potato crop in the 1840’s, a sign of things to come in the Great Famine of 1845-1847.

Aware of the fact that he had failed with his great goal, (the Repeal Movement), O’Connell left Ireland for the last time in January 1847. He made a touching speech in the House of Commons in which he appealed for aid for his country. In March, acting on the advice of his doctor, he set out to Italy. Following his death in Genoa on 15 May 1847, his body was returned to Ireland and buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

Location: Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin 9, Ireland

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Michael ("Mick") Collins (Irish: Mícheál Ó Coileáin; 16 October 1890 – 22 August 1922) was an Irish revolutionary leader, Minister for Finance and MP for Cork South in the First Dáil of 1919, Director of Intelligence for the IRA, and member of the Irish delegation during the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations. Subsequently he was both Chairman of the Provisional Government and Commander-in-chief of the National Army. Throughout this time, at least as of 1919, he was also President of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He was shot and killed in August 1922, during the Irish Civil War.

Although most Irish political parties recognise his contribution to the foundation of the modern Irish state, supporters of Fine Gael hold his memory in particular esteem, regarding him as their movement's founding father, through his link to their precursor Cumann na nGaedhael.

Michael Collins is buried at Glasnevin Cemetery, Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland. Below are photographs of his grave taken in January after Irelands first heavy snow fall in a good few years, and the latter photographs were taken 1st May 2010.

For further information on Michael Collins see....


Michael Collins grave has thousands of visitors each year and it is always covered in flowers. When I went the first time to visit I was lucky enough to bump into his great grand newphew who was visiting the grave for the first time after many many years of sorrow within the family.

By Mandie

Monday, May 3, 2010


On Saturday 1st May 2010, I went along to the Glasnevin Museum which is located inside the grounds of Glasnevin Cemetery, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.

Glasnevin Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Ireland. It first opened in 1832 to establish a place where people of all religions could bury their dead with dignity. The cemetery has grown to become a national monument and vital part of the Irish History story.

Glasnevin Museum is a must for anyone interested in Irish Heritage and Genealogy. The exhibitions on view seek to show the social, historical, political and artistic development of modern Ireland through the lives of the generations buried in Ireland's Necropolis. The exhibition hosts three main feature exhibits.

CITY OF THE DEAD : An immersive exhibition in the basement of the Museum. It covers the burial practices and religious beliefs, as well as the meticulous record-keeping, of the 1.5 million people buried in Glasnevin.

THE MILESTONE GALLERY : A succession of special exhibitions on key historical figures, starting with Glasnevin’s founder Daniel O’Connell. It also houses ‘the Timeline’ – a ten-metre long digitally interactive table containing details of the lives and connections of hundreds of the most interesting people buried there.

THE GLAZED PROSPECT GALLERY : It offers a breathtaking panorama of the cemetery, along with information on its marvellous array of funerary monuments and historic graves. Genealogist Searches on the www.glasnevintrust.ie/Genealogy page are made accessible in a research area.

Also at the museum is the Archive Room which includes a specially designed and temperature controlled archive room where original burial records minute books and historical documents are preserved, The Glasnevin Trust Shop which sells a range of books and gifts and The Tower Cafe where you can put your feet up and enjoy food and refreshments whilst looking out over the cemetery.

I went along with my son who loved the darkened spooky atmosphere of The City of The Dead and there was lots to do to keep him entertained while he learnt lots about Irish history in a setting that was fun. The life like props really made you feel like you had gone back in time. I on the other hand loved all that there was to read about different religions and burial methods, not to mention the chilling skulls which were placed in the floor under glass, a great addition to the atmospherics. When we entered the Prospect Gallery I was totally in awe of the stunning view which really showed the extreme beauty of the whole cemetery and put into perspective exactly how large the cemetery is. A nice cup of coffee and a wander around the gift shop completed our visit and I look forward to heading back there next week with my daughter to be overwhelmed again.

By Mandie

Sunday, May 2, 2010

This is a grave of James Ryan aka Dan Kelly (The Kelly Gang) I found it at the Ipswich General Cemetery, Qld.


It is widely speculated that Ipswich General Cemetery is the final resting place for a member of perhaps the most infamous and notorious Australian family - The Ned Kelly Gang.
Records show that in 1933 an elderly man known in the ipswich area as James Ryan claimed to Brisbane's Sunday Truth newspaper that he was, in fact, Dan Kelly, the brother of Ned Kelly.

An article which appeared on the front page of Sunday Truth dated 13 August, 1933, bore the headline: "I am Dan Kelly, Declares Aged Bushman - Thrilling Confession of days When Hold Up Terror Reigned". The article recounted in graphic detail the adventures of the Kelly gang as told by James Ryan, or Dan Kelly.
According to this and other articles which appeared in the newspaper, James Ryan, or Dan Kelly, escaped from the siege at Glenrowan and headed to Queensland with nothing but a new identity.
The newspaper reports that hundreds of historians from all over the country and even those who had associations with the Kellys could not disprove that James Ryan was truly Dan Kelly.
Once in Queensland, the alleged Dan Kelly settled in a hut at Fairney View between Ipswich and Esk, 40 kilometres north-west of Brisbane.
On july 29, 1948, the 94-year-old Dan Kelly, aka James Ryan, was released from the Royal Brisbane Hospital after a short illness and made his way to Ipswich that afternoon. At 9pm, he was walking along the main Ipswich-Brisbane railway line at the end of Wharf Street in Ipswich when he was struck by a coaltrain and decapitated. He was buried in this pauper's grave on July 31, 1948, under the name J.Ryan.

There is another twist to this intriguing tale, however. New evidence unearthed in a recent book suggests that Dan Kelly assumed Ned's identity at the Glenrowan siege in order to protect his brother. Reputedly, it was Ned who managed to escape from Glenrowan and flee to Queensland. This would mean that the person who was actually hanged at the Old Melbourne Goal at 10am on November 11, 1880, was Dan Kelly.
If this is the case, the Ipswich General Cemetery could be the eternal resting place for the roving spirit of feared bushranger Ned Kelly.
We may never know who the character known in Ipswich as 'James RYan' really was, but one thing is certain. In the end, the deaths of James Ryan, aka Dan Kelly, and Ned Kelly, were met head-on.


By Lucas


We have created this blog for anyone who wants to follow us around to the various cemeteries we visit when we have the time between our usual daily routines.