The re-opening of the historic Goldenbridge Cemetery will be the flagship event of a new festival celebrating the historical and cultural life of Dublin 8. The inaugural 'Culture Date with Dublin 8' takes place in various locations around Inchicore and Kilmainham this weekend (13–14 May).
Goldenbridge Cemetery was a non-denominational cemetery that welcomed the deceased of all religions and none. It was founded following a campaign led by Daniel O’Connell in 1828, and modelled on Pére Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. It was closed almost 150 years ago following a dispute with the British War Office that operated the nearby Richmond Barracks and has remained closed since, except for very occasional burials such as that for W T Cosgrave, the first leader of the Irish Free State, in the 1960s.
Sadly, the two-acre burial ground was targetted by vandals in 2014 and 2016, when many graves, including Cosgrave's, were badly damaged. They have since been restored.
The reopening of the cemetery will take place with a special outdoor concert at 3pm on Sunday.
Also taking place over the course of the weekend are bespoke guided tours of Kilmainham Gaol, family-friendly events at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and a new exhibition celebrating the Irish lives lost in World War One at Richmond Barracks.
All activities and events are free of charge, but you need tickets. They are fast being allocated, so book quickly if you're particularly keen to join a tour. See a map of the locations involved.
Click the '8' image to see the festival website and full programme.