One Million Dubliners

On Sunday, I embarked on the Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum Tour. I have to say I was truly blown away. From always seeing the posters advertised on Dublin bus and a lot of people I knew talking about how good it was – I went to experience it for myself first hand.

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One aspect of the tour which is FREE to the public is the O’Donovan Rossa Funeral Exhibition in Glasnevin Museum. This exhibition marks the centenary of the funeral of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa. This collection gives a fascinating insight into one of the most important funerals in Irish history, combined with the historic oration given by Padraig Pearse, cemented his status as a great speaker of the Irish nation. As well as never before seen items other aspects of the exhibition include ;

  • O’Donovan Rossa – The Prison War and The Dynamite Campaign
  • Rossa’s Final Years
  • Uniform and memorabilia
  • The Funeral – photographs and proceedings
  • The Graveside Oration including the printed speech of Padraig Pearse

The famous speech delivered by Padraig Pearse at the grave of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa on 1st August, 1915, is re-enacted daily at 2.30pm by an actor dressed as Pearse in full uniform in Glasnevin Cemetery. I was lucky enough to get to experience this as part of the walking cemetery tour and I was not disappointed. The man dressed as Pearse spoke with such vigour and credibility. It was amazing to listen and hear the words spoken by Pearse and combined with the exhibition made it such authentic experience for me.

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You can watch a snippet of the oration here. All re-enactments at Glasnevin Cemetery Museum are kindly supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Our tour guide Dara was so informative about the great figures that shaped our nation and could answer any questions anyone had at ease. He was humorous and he really made the whole experience come alive for all involved. My favourite part of the tour was getting to go into the crypt of Daniel O’Connell (pictured below) and hear more about this inspirational Irish leader. I seen many other graves of famous Irish men and women that shaped our small but great nation… but I will leave you to find them out for yourself when you take a visit 🙂

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You can also trace your Genealogy in the archives stored in all Mac Computers upstairs next to the O’Donovan Rossa exhibition. There is also an exhibition running about the history of Glasnevin Cemetery. You can discover Ireland’s heritage through interactive displays encouraging you to find out more about all those buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

The museum has 3 main areas:

  • City of the Dead
  • Prospect Gallery
  • Milestone Gallery

The Tower cafe on site is very good and serves hot and cold food at very reasonable prices. The gift shop is amazing for little bits and pieces and great gift ideas. My Dad bought me this and I love it. I had to share with you all because I thought it was such a lovely gift as a newly qualified teacher only beginning my own journey of both teaching and learning.

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In the gift shop, you can also purchase the award winning film One Million Dubliners based on the cemetery itself. It is more than a documentary ; it explores life, death and the afterlife, and ends in a way that will stay with you forever. The trailer for this fantastic film can be seen here. This tour would make an excellent history trip for class groups or perhaps for yourself, family and friends. It is also a great tour to bring someone on visiting ireland. It ranks at #2 of the Top Things to do in Dublin out of #394 and was awarded a certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor.

You can book tickets for the tour here at Glasnevin Trust and with Half Price rates for teachers on Saturdays whats not to love? 🙂

For more details call Glasnevin Museum (0)1 882 6550 or email

Museum Opening Hours & Tour Times

Monday – Friday: 10am-5pm

Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays: 10am-5pm

Public Tours take place daily:

Monday to Friday: 11.30am & 2.30pm

Saturday & Sunday: 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 3.30pm & 3.30pm

Pop on over to my Twitter account here for more musings from me 🙂

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