Monday 24 October 2016

Glasnevin cemetery under fire for lack of Irish language signs

Glasnevin Cemetery, examples of signage.
Glasnevin Cemetery, examples of signage.

Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum has been criticised for not using the Irish language in its signs and information points.

The historic, 124-acre landmark and final resting place of national heroes and more than 1.5 million Dubliners, has become a major tourist attraction.

However, signage installed as part of a revamp is in the English language only.

The matter is to be raised with Dublin City Council by local Independent councillor Nial Ring, who has forwarded a motion to the Central Area Committee asking the city manager to write to Glasnevin Trust.


"I want him to request that due recognition be given to the Irish language in signage, posters, and leaflets throughout the complex, in recognition of the historical importance of Glasnevin Cemetery in Irish culture, history and heritage," he told the Herald.

"Glasnevin is an amazing place full of history and heritage and the people there have to be commended for the massive amount of work they have done over recent years to turn it into the facility it is today, but I was gobsmacked by the lack of Irish in the signs and posters when I was up there recently," he added.

A spokesman for the cemetery museum said that while there is no formal requirement for the Glasnevin Trust to provide bilingual signage in its buildings, it is "something we are actively considering and intend to implement in the coming months".

"Glasnevin Cemetery Museum has a wide range of activities for Irish speakers that include special tours of the cemetery through Irish upon request and regular tours for Gaelscoil students," the spokesman said.

"We also run tours and activities in Irish every year in celebration and recognition of Seachtain na Gaeilge."

A 10-year restoration project is due to finish this year at a cost of an estimated €25m under the National Development Plan.

The once near-derelict cemetery has been transformed into one of Ireland's top tourist attractions.


It contains the graves of many of Ireland's most prominent national figures, including Daniel O'Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, Eamon de Valera and Constance Markievicz.

Its museum is currently continuing their series of re-enactments and orations of famous Irish patriots.

Last month the cemetery marked the centenary of the death of prominent Fenian Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa.

All re-enactments at Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum are supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

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