Glasnevin Cemetery and the funeral of Thomas Ashe, 30 September 1917

Glasnevin Cemetery Museum

The funeral of the republican leader Thomas Ashe in Dublin's Glasnevin Cemetery on 30 September 1917 was a milestone in the campaign for Irish independence. This exhibition explores the funeral, its significance and legacy, and the social history of Dublin as revealed through the lives and deaths of those buried in Glasnevin Cemetery on that day.

Memorial card for Thomas Ashe
According to the Irish Times (1 October 1917), on the day of his funeral 'vendors of memorial cards plied a profitable trade' on the streets of Dublin.

Ashe was a talented piper, and had been instrumental in founding the Black Raven Pipe Band, members of which are pictured here at his funeral, in Lusk in 1910.

Pallbearers carry Ashe's coffin, draped in a tricolour, to the graveside.

A crowd scene at the graveside in Glasnevin Cemetery after the lowering of the coffin into the grave.

Members of the Irish Volunteers, who marshalled the funeral, fire a volley of shot over Ashe's grave.

One Day In Glasnevin
The entrance to Glasnevin Cemetery on the Finglas Road, c. 1906. All burials entered through this gate; this would have been the case on 30 September 1917 (Glasnevin Trust).

A detail from the Glasnevin burial registers for 30 September 1917.

The grave of Augustine Dumay in Glasnevin Cemetery.

Postcard of Glasnevin 'republican plot'
A contemporary postcard image of the 'IRA and Fenian plots' (later the republican plot), and of Ashe's grave; the current headstone had not yet been erected (Glasnevin Trust).
Postcard image of Parnell's grave
An early twentieth-century postcard of the Home Rule leader Charles Stewart Parnell's grave in Glasnevin, which became a landmark in its own right after his funeral in 1891.
Election flyers for 1917
The rivalry between the IPP and SInn Féin, as hinted at in the purchasing of graves in Glasnevin Cemetery, became increasingly real and acrimonious throughout 1917. This is graphically illustrated by the highly critical invective directed at the IPP in this Sinn Féin election flyer for the South Longford by-election of 1917.

A contemporary depiction of graves available for purchase in the area that became the republican plot.

Thomas Ashe's headstone
The grave of Thomas Ashe in Glasnevin Cemetery's republican plot. The current memorial, which also serves to mark the graves of Ashe's fellow-republicans and veterans of the independence struggle Peadar Kearney (the author of the The soldiers song) and Piaras Béaslaí, was unveiled in 1967.
Credits: Story

Curated by John Gibney.

Photography and video recording by Paul Sharp.

Technical support by Luke Portess.

Archival footage courtesy of the Irish Film Institute.

Thanks to: Lynn Brady, Conor Dodd, Ian Kenneally, Georgina Laragy and Rebecca McCullough.

The exhibition was developed by Trinity College Dublin in partnership with Glasnevin Trust and was funded under the Irish Research Council's 'New Foundations' scheme.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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