Some 5th year students went to Dublin on Wednesday (7th March) as part of an Irish History and Culture trip.
Students visited Croke Park where they did the museum tour and enjoyed the interactive games room.
They also visited Glasnevin Cemetery where they heard stories about the lives and legacies of some of the most famous people in Irish history and experienced a reenactment by “Padraig Pearse”.
I could feel a multitude of emotions build up as our bus approached the tranquil graveyard. Curiosity, melancholy and pride.
As I gazed upon Glasnevin Cemetary I couldn’t help but feel immensely curious, my mind pondered about the abundance of lives lost. Each grave had a story, a life, loved ones left behind.
I felt a tremendous sense of eeriness as our group progressed towards the iron gates. The sadness enveloped our group when we stepped on the grounds.
The place was paralysed with grey tombstones. Although there was an overwhelming sense of melancholy it was outweighed by the pride I felt. We were standing amongst some of Ireland’s most loved famous and loved and although they had died, their legacy lives on.
We then continued on to the visitor centre which consisted of a gift shop and receptionist’s office. The receptionist greeted our group with great hospitality and introduced us to our tour guide.
Our tour guide was most accommodating and began the tour immediately.
Firstly, we walked to the crypt of Daniel O’Connell. We were shown inside by our guide and given a brief history of Daniel O’Connell’s life and legacy. It was interesting and informative.
Next, we were taken to the grave of Diarmuid O’Donovan Rossa who was a prominent member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Our guide informed us of the significance of the funeral held for Rossa. It turned out that Patrick Pearse gave a powerful and influential speech at the funeral of the man.
We watched as a man approached the grave. He wore a khaki green soldier’s uniform, beautiful medals and buttons adorned the jacket he wore. He was a re-enactor who played the role of Patrick Pearse. Everything was silent. He began to re-enact Pearse’s speech. It was astounding and powerful. I felt as though I was being transported back in time.
After that amazing piece of living history we walked to the grave of Countess Markievicz, Markevicz was one of the only female participants in The Easter Rising. She was also a suffragette and socialist.
The history of Markevicz peaked my interest; I found her strength and courage astonishing. Her grave was simple but it was clear that it was visited often as multiple bouquets of flowers lay beside it.
From there, we strolled to Michael Collins’ grave which would be the culmination of our tour. His resting place was certainly striking; masses of flowers surrounded the grave.
We were informed that Collins’ grave is the most famous and visited interment amongst 1.5 million others. Our guide told us about certain aspects of Collins’ life which was abruptly ended in 1922 when he was assassinated. We were all completely engrossed.
Our trip to Glasnevin was both informative and interesting. It was a powerful and emotional experience unlike any other tour I have been on.