Interactive website promotes historic cemetery

A VOLUNTEER group has developed an interactive website mapping the graves of some of the most famous people buried in Cork’s historic St Finbarr’s Cemetery.

The Friends of St Finbarr’s, which was established in August 2010 to help maintain the burial ground, launched the new Google map venture yesterday.

They have researched and mapped 100 individual graves, allowing people to click on a blue icon to read the descriptions of the individual graves.

They encouraged the public to contribute any information they consider useful by accessing the site through the group’s Facebook page.

St Finbarr’s on the Glasheen Road in the western suburbs is one of the city’s largest and oldest cemeteries still in use and unlike older cemeteries, it was professionally laid out with numbered pathways and wide avenues.

Some of its graves date from 1871 and many of Cork’s merchant princes, as well as “ordinary citizens”, are buried there.

It features a large republican plot near the entrance where martyred Cork lord mayors, Terence McSwiney and Tomás MacCurtain have been interred.

Other famous people buried there include former taoiseach Jack Lynch; the antiquarian, Richard Rolt Brash, who was among the first to decipher the ancient Ogham writing style; sculptor Seamus Murphy; and Cork’s first lord mayor, Daniel Hegarty.

Among the graves featured on the interactive map are Rupert Boyd Barrett, the architect of churches at Dennehy’s Cross, Gurranabraher, Mayfield, and Ballyphehane, as well several of the city’s primary schools, and the Science Building at UCC.

Architect Samuel Hynes, who designed St Finbarr’s Oratory at Gougane Barra, and several of the Victorian churches which dominate the city, is also buried there.

Bishop John Hynes, of Demerara in Guiana is the only bishop buried there.

Members of the Crosbie family, the owners of the Irish Examiner and Evening Echo, are buried there, as are jewellers Patrick and Eileen Keane.

An exhibition will take place in the Mortuary Chapel on Friday September 23, as well as free tours between 4pm and 7pm.

lFind the Friends of St Finbarr’s Cemetery on Facebook by searching for “Finbarrs Cemetery Cork”.

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