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In the early 1990's Dublin Cemeteries Trust embarked on an ambitious restoration project at Glasnevin Cemetery, working with government departments, with the assistance of the Office of Public Works, our heritage and restoration team, onsite genealogist and local historians.
The over-arching aims of the Cemetery Heritage Restoration Project are:
• That Glasnevin Cemetery, together with the GPO and Kilmainham Gaol, be a centrepiece for the commemorations and ceremonies relating to the Decade of Centenaries, and for commemorations into the future.
• To become one of Dublin’s top visitor attractions as ‘Ireland’s National Cemetery’ similar to Pére Lachaise in Paris and Arlington in Washington.
• To become a National Park with the National Botanic Gardens and adjoining linear parks along the Tolka River and the Royal Canal.
During the early years of the project, work concentrated on the cemetery’s infrastructure including: work on significant monuments and chapels, roads and pathways, trees, drainage, development of work practices to secure sunken headstones, and health and safety issues.
The restoration of the O'Connell Tower was completed in 2018, allowing visitors the climb the iconic monument for the first time in over 45 years, and remains a signature attraction at Glasnevin Cemetery. The fascinating tale of the tower – its history, bombing and eventual return to glory is explored here.
Significant progress has been made on the three original aims of the project, including the approximately 60 acres of a total 124 acres in Glasnevin that have been restored and re-landscaped. However, works need to continue and expand to ensure that a site so steeped in history can be accessible and appreciated by the general public for many decades into the future.
Dublin Cemeteries Trust are committed to an ongoing programme of restoration including:
• Completion of restoration works on the grounds (including monuments) in Glasnevin and Goldenbridge
• The restoration of the Church of the Resurrection.
• The restoration of the watch towers, walls and railings.