Time capsule tribute to Rising dead

 

The mystery over the contents of an 80-year-old time capsule found in an obscure part of Glasnevin Cemetery ended today with a tribute to those who died in the 1916 Rising.

But we will have to take the word of historians. The unique two foot long cylinder, dating back to 1929, was discovered in a stone canopy on top of the near forgotten Sigerson Monument - built in memory of all those who died in the Easter rebellion.

It was discovered during renovation works two months ago as work began to restore the beautiful statue to its former glory.

However, the capsule dedicated to the rebels has not been opened. Government records showed the capsule contains a vellum parchment embossed with the names of all those killed during the Rising and Easter week in Dublin.

After consulting the Office of Public Works the Dublin Cemeteries Committee decided to leave the capsule as it was found and re-inter it in the monument.

"We know it only was only 80 years since it was put in so we decided to put it back in for another couple of hundred," John Green, committee chairman, said.

"When we discovered it, apart from the fact that the men who discovered it thought may be a bomb, we brought it to the National Museum."

The Sigerson monument, where the capsule was found, was designed by nationalist Ms Dora Sigerson-Shorter Experts at the museum checked old state files in the National Archives and discovered Cabinet minutes from 1929 detailing the capsule and the list to be hidden inside.

Not all the names are known, but Glasnevin Cemetery has been able to compile a list of those killed during Easter week.

Mr Green said: "Many of those who died fighting for their country at this time would have been buried here in the National Cemetery and as such we have trawled back through our records here to reveal some of the names which would be contained on the list."

The capsule was discovered during the first phase of the €25 million 10-year restoration of Glasnevin. The aim is to have the cemetery restored in time for the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Works are now focusing on the most historical graves in the cemetery including the 20 main monuments and the 150 foot high O'Connell tower, burial place of the cemetery founder, Daniel O'Connell.

Other Irish leaders buried in Glasnevin include Eamonn DeValera, Michael Collins, Charles Stewart Parnell, Maude Gonne McBride, Kitty Kiernan and many ordinary men and women who fought for Ireland.

PA