Glasnevin Museum and Cemetery

Glasnevin Museum and Cemetery on Finglas Road south of the Tolka River, is an exciting visitor centre with extraordinary links to Irish history. There are those who believe that somewhere in this park is the very site where Brian Boru himself was murdered by a Viking who came upon the ageing High King of Ireland praying in his tent, during the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. 

This impressive cemetery, founded by Daniel O’Connell is the resting place for over 1.2 million people some of whom count as legends in early and modern Irish history, such as Michael Collins, Eamon DeValera, Charles Stewart Parnell and also Arthur Griffith. Visit the museum and explore the literary, cultural and military history of Ireland or avail of the daily walking tours of this site. 

Some History of Glasnevin

Glasnevin is today a suburb of Dublin city centre and very close to the events of the famous Battle of Clontarf, which took place along the Tolka River on Good Friday in 1014.  Just 6km from the coast at Clontarf it is almost certain that Brian Boru and his troops would have set up camp in this area, before crossing the river for the bloody battle. Indeed there is a field here called locally the Bloody Acre which marks the site of some fighting. 

The area itself first recorded a monastery in the 6th century founded by St. Mobhi, around which a settlement grew. This was not spared being plundered by Vikings in the 8th century. Due to its fertile soil it became one of the farms for Christchurch Cathedral built in 1028 by Sigtrygg Silkenbeard.  By the time of the Normans in c1200 it was part of Finglas Abbey under Laurence O’Toole, the first Irish Archbishop of Dublin, still a Norse city. In 1240 a church and tower were reconstrucrted on the site of St Mobhi’s church. By 1541 Christchurch was known as thr Priory of the Holy Trinity and was amongst the wealthiest church in Ireland and still had lands in Glasnevin.