Initially I decided not to include a sound track but that idea did not really work but I must admit that it is close to impossible to find appropriate background music for a visit to a graveyard. Anyway, I selected the music because it is what my Grand Aunt liked.
Then Mount Jerome for the protestants. Funerals all over the world everywhere every minute. Shovelling them under by the cartload doublequick. Thousands every hour. Too many in the world. Ulysses, Chapter 6, Hades episode, James Joyce.
I was in the Harold’s Cross area today so I took the opportunity to visit Mount Jerome Cemetery where two of my Grandparents and a Grand Aunt are buried. I had not realised that it was the 8th of December.
Historically, for Irish Catholics, the festive period began on 8 December, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, with many putting up their decorations and Christmas trees on that day, and runs through until 6 January, or Little Christmas. Today, in modern Ireland it is the big Christmas shopping day.
Mount Jerome Cemetery & Crematorium is situated in Harold’s Cross on the south side of Dublin, Ireland. Since its foundation in 1836, it has witnessed over 300,000 burials. Originally an exclusively Protestant cemetery, Roman Catholics have also been buried there since the 1920s.
The name of the cemetery comes from an estate established there by the Reverend Stephen Jerome, who in 1639 was vicar of St. Kevin’s Parish. At that time, Harold’s Cross was part of St. Kevin’s Parish. In the latter half of the 17th century, the land passed into the ownership of the Earl of Meath, who in turn leased plots to prominent Dublin families. A house, Mount Jerome House, was constructed in one of these plots, and leased to John Keogh. In 1834, after an aborted attempt to set up a cemetery in the Phoenix Park, the General Cemetery Company of Dublin bought the Mount Jerome property, “for establishing a general cemetery in the neighbourhood of the city of Dublin”.
The Funerary Chapel in the cemetery was the first Puginian Gothic church in Dublin. It was designed by William Atkins.
The first official burial happened on the 19th of September 1836. The buried deceased were the infant twins of Matthew Pollock.
The cemetery initially started with a landmass of 26 acres and grew to a size of 48 acres in 1874.
In 1984, burial numbers were falling, thus the Cemetery was losing revenue and began to deteriorate. A crematorium was needed to regain revenue and deal with plant overgrowth on the estate. In 2000, Mount Jerome Cemetery established its own crematorium on the site.