BOHERMORE VICTORIAN CEMETERY

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The Bohermore Victorian Cemetery is one of the most historic and fascinating places in Galway City. It was opened in 1880 as the ‘new cemetery’ and it contains two mortuary chapels, one for Catholics and one for Protestants, as well as a caretaker’s lodge near the entrance gates. 

The cemetery reflects the Victorian style of grave memorials, with many elaborate and ostentatious monuments, vaults and crypts. Some of the most famous and influential people in Irish history and culture are buried here, such as Lady Augusta Gregory, Lord Haw Haw and Pádraic Ó Conaire.

The Bohermore Victorian Cemetery was established in 1880 as a response to the overcrowding and unsanitary conditions of the old city graveyards. The cemetery covers an area of about 16 acres and it was designed by William R. Farrell, a Dublin architect who also worked on Glasnevin Cemetery. The cemetery was divided into two sections, one for Catholics and one for Protestants, each with its own mortuary chapel. The chapels were built in Gothic Revival style, with pointed arches, stained glass windows and ornate carvings. The western chapel was reserved for Catholic use and the eastern one for Protestant use.

The cemetery also features a caretaker’s lodge near the entrance gates, which was built in 1882. The lodge is a two-storey building with a slate roof, stone walls and sash windows. It was originally occupied by the cemetery superintendent, who was responsible for maintaining the grounds and records.

The cemetery was officially consecrated on 4 July 1880 by Archbishop John McEvilly of Tuam. The first burial took place on 6 July 1880, when Mary Anne Costello, a 24-year-old domestic servant from Bohermore, was laid to rest. Since then, thousands of people have been buried in Bohermore Victorian Cemetery, including many prominent figures in Irish history, literature, politics and culture.

The cemetery is the final resting place of some of the most famous and influential people in Irish history and culture. Some of the more notable burials that you can find in the cemetery are:

– Lady Augusta Gregory (1852-1932): Lady Gregory was a writer, dramatist, folklorist and co-founder of the Abbey Theatre. She was a key figure in the Irish Literary Revival and a friend and patron of many Irish writers, such as W.B. Yeats, J.M. Synge and Sean O’Casey. She wrote over 30 plays and many books on Irish history and folklore. She lived at Coole Park in County Galway, where she hosted many literary gatherings and inspired the Coole Park poets. She died in 1932 at the age of 80 and was buried in Bohermore Victorian Cemetery.

– Lord Haw Haw (1906-1946): Lord Haw Haw was the nickname given to William Joyce, an American-born British fascist who became a Nazi propagandist during World War II. He broadcasted from Germany in English to discourage and demoralise the British population and troops. He was captured by British forces in 1945 and executed for treason in 1946 at Wandsworth Prison. He was re-buried in Bohermore Victorian Cemetery in 1976 at the request of his daughter. His family had strong connections with Galway and lived there between 1909 and 1921.

– Pádraic Ó Conaire (1882-1928): Pádraic Ó Conaire was a writer, journalist and teacher who wrote mainly in Irish. He is regarded as one of the most important Irish language short story writers of the 20th century, along with Patrick Pearse. He wrote over 400 stories, as well as novels, essays and memoirs. He was also involved in the Gaelic League, the Irish Republican Brotherhood and the Easter Rising of 1916. He died in 1928 at the age of 46 from complications of diabetes and alcoholism. He was buried in Bohermore Victorian Cemetery, where his grave is marked by a bronze bust sculpted by Albert Power.

Bohermore Victorian Cemetery is open to the public every day from dawn to dusk. There is no admission fee or guided tours available, but you can explore the cemetery on your own and admire the architecture, history and beauty of the place. You can also find a map and information board near the entrance gates with more details on the cemetery and its notable burials.

The cemetery is located on Bohermore Road, about 1.5 km from Eyre Square in Galway City. You can walk, cycle or take a bus to get there. The cemetery is a place of history, culture and tranquility in Galway City. If you are looking for a unique and interesting experience in Galway, don’t miss the chance to visit the Bohermore Victorian Cemetery and discover its stories and secrets.

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Bohermore's Victorian Cemetery

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