Thursday, January 5, 2012

'Among the great and the good': Michael Carey, the first interred in Glasnevin

Lie The Remains Of
The Beloved Son of MICHAEL CAREY
Of Francis St
Who Was The First Ever Interred
In This Cemetery
22nd February 1832
When Daniel O'Connell founded the Prospect Cemetery at Glasnevin, and opened it in 1832, it was with the intention of providing a burial ground for all, no matter what creed, no matter what rank in life an individual might hold. With this in mind, it is perhaps fitting that the first person interred in the cemetery should be a young boy of little consequence in the eyes of the world.

Michael Carey was an eleven year old boy, the son of a labourer.  He lived with his parents, Michael and Bridget Carey, on Francis Street in Phibsboro, Dublin.  The Glasnevin record does not state a cause of death, but bears only his name and address.  In addition, the number of the sexton is noted as '1', the number of the registrar is noted as '3', and the degrees of latitude and longitude are stated to detail the position of the grave: Longitude 0°, Latitude 43°.  The grave is in the Garden section of the cemetery in an area which in 1834 was named Curran Square.  The square's namesake John Philpot Curran is buried in a huge sarcophagus just a few yards to the left of Michael Carey's grave.

As you can see from the photographs above, the simple stone which marks Michael Carey's grave stands directly beside the gate which was the original entrance into Glasnevin.  Since this first interment in 1832 more than 1.5 million people have been buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

Click on photographs to view larger version.
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