By: Let’s Go Contributor Team
- The mummies at St. Michan’s Church. Under this unassuming church are vaults containing the mummified remains of nuns, earls, and Irish rebels. It’s creepy as heck, which makes it the perfect introduction to Dublin’s macabre side.
- Clonycavan Man. The finest of the bog bodies at the National Museum of Archaeology and History, this Iron Age specimen’s well-preserved hair reveals the use of an early form of hair gel. This guy deserved to be on the cover of GQ. Instead, he was sacrificed for an unknown ritual. Lesson learned: life’s not fair.
- Jonathan Swift. Pay tribute to the guy who sarcastically suggested the Irish poor should sell their children as food. His body resides in St. Patrick’s Church, where he was dean from 1713 to 1745. You can’t actually see it, but there is a bust on view. Afterwards, go eat some Jelly Babies in his honor.
- Kimainham Gaol: No actual dead bodies here, but this spot is still infamously associated with death. After the failed Easter Uprising—commemorated in WB Yeats’s poem “Easter 1916”—the British government executed several revolutionary leaders here, including Patrick Pearse and James Connolly.
- Drumcondra Church. It may seem like an average graveyard now, but in the nineteenth century these shallow graves were easy targets for body snatchers.
- The Cabbage Garden. No, this small graveyard isn’t named “The Cabbage Garden” because someone thought dead bodies make great fertilizer. Before it was a cemetery, Oliver Cromwell used the area to plant—you guessed it—cabbages.
- Huguenot Cemetery, Merrion Row. In the seventeenth century, Ireland took on Protestant refugees from France, who were being persecuted by the Catholic government there.
- Glasnevin Cemetery, Finglas Road. More people have been buried in this sprawling cemetery (about one and a half million) than currently live in Dublin. Brendan Behan, Eamon de Valera, Michael Collins—the gang’s all here. A must-avoid in the case of a zombie apocalypse, but a must-see any other time.
- Chaloner’s Corner. This gravesite on the grounds of Trinity College is in fact Dublin’s smallest cemetery. To paraphrase Stalin: a small graveyard is a tragedy a big one is a statistic.
- “The Dead” by James Joyce. This short story, the last of those published in Joyce’s collection Dubliners, is the perfect way to conclude this morbid tour of Dublin. The mind boggles as you learn that you, with your stifling lack of passion, are (spoiler alert) already dead. Heavy.
Just because you’re exploring the world of the dead doesn’t mean you need to feel like it. Get a good nights rest at one of our Dublin hotels so you can see all the Irish underworld has to offer.
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