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Published on March 23rd, 2017 | by admin

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Strange & unusual stories from Glasnevin Cemetery: Win tickets to new ‘Dead Interesting’ tour

With over one million people buried there, Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum isn’t short of stories to tell.

The Cemetery has its famous occupants, including Eamon de Valera, Michael Collins, Brendan Behan, Luke Kelly, Maude Gonne, Constance Markievicz and Jim Larkin.

But it is also the final resting place for many ordinary citizens who led extraordinary lives and deaths, with the new ‘Dead Interesting’ tour telling some of their little-known, unusual and quirky stories.

Garda Post has teamed up with Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum, to offer readers the chance of winning family tickets to new ‘Dead Interesting’ tour.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply send an email, along with your name and telephone number, to competition@universalmedia.ie – two winners will be chosen at random and the closing date for the competition is Monday, April 3rd, 2017.

On the tour you will visit the graves and hear the stories of little known figures such as:

The Irish chaplain who witnessed the liberation of Bergen Belsen concentration camp;

Father Michael Morris was born in Listowel, Co Kerry, in 1908. He became a Jesuit and chaplain and served with the British Army in north Africa before being attached to the 2/8th Lancashire Fusiliers in the European theatre. It was with this battalion that he was present at the liberation of Bergen Belsen concentration camp in April 1945.

Bergen Belsen was a holding camp designed for 10,000 but by the time of its liberation it held some 60,000 with another 13,000 unburied dead bodies. The scene that Morrison faced can scarcely be imagined. Death rates soared as a result of malnutrition and disease particularly typhus. His first days at the camp were spent in part anointing the dying, Morrison anointed 300 per day for 10 days.

It was acknowledged by those who knew him that Michael Morrison was never again the same after his experiences during the Second World War. He was sent to Australia to work after the war and returned to Ireland in 1958. Apart from a short period in Manchester he spent the rest of his life here, passing away in April 1973.

The last Irish winner of Wimbledon;

Frank Stoker, who along with his playing partner Joshua Pim were the only Irish players to win a Wimbledon title on more than one occasion. Stoker and Pim won the doubles championship in 1890 and 1893 and were runners up in 1891. At the same time as his exploits at Wimbledon Stoker also played international rugby for Ireland as a forward. He played his first international against Scotland in 1886 and his last in 1891 against Wales.

Stoker worked as a dental surgeon and died in 1939 being survived by his wife Rita and his four daughters. One of his daughters Norma, also buried here, was an accomplished sportsperson in her own right appearing at Wimbledon and also playing at international level for Ireland in hockey and badminton.

A woman who died once yet was buried twice in Glasnevin;

Maria Higgins has the ignominious title of being the only person to be buried in Glasnevin Cemetery twice; an intriguing and amusing tale.

The 90 minute tour also tells the curious tale of Dublin-born antique dealer Frank De Groot, who cut the ribbon and opened Sydney Harbour Bridge when he wasn’t meant to.

It visits the Hodgens family vault that was used as an arms dump by the IRA during the War of Independence.

The Dublin Brigade used it right up to the truce, with a considerable quantity of revolvers, grenades and ammunition stored in a coffin unbeknownst to the British military.

Visitors will also hear about the Phoenix Park murders of 1882, the Church Street tenement collapse of 1913, the history of body snatching at Glasnevin and the Seapoint tragedy of 1836.

This selection is but a few of the stories being told on the ‘Dead Interesting’ tour, which really is an excellent, fascinating and informative tour that perfectly compliments the outstanding tours already on offer in Glasnevin.

For more info on the ‘Dead Interesting’ tour and more, check out their website.


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