Mayor’s ‘grave’ invite

Belfast Mayor, Tom Hartley, has developed a reputation for his interest in the history of people buried in the two main cemeteries in west Belfast, particularly the City Cemetery, where some 225,000 Belfast residents found their resting place. Now, in conjunction with the City Hall, the local politician has organised a special Visitors Day for the City Cemetery today, with the expressed hope of encouraging members of the protestant community to visit the cemetery in recognition of the fact that the once predominantly protestant cemetery became virtually off-limits during the conflict here due to its location. Anyone who has been on Hartley’s mammoth tour of the cemetery during the annual Feile an Phobail will testify to Hartley’s knowledge of and passion for the subject, so much so that the running joke is that Hartley’s advice that tourists bring a packed lunch for the tour should be replaced with advice to bring a packed breakfast, lunch, dinner and sleeping bag…

  • Here’s a model for the cataloguing of headstones: Billy Parish Church in North Antrim.

  • Nathan

    City cemetery sounds good, even better when there is a tour guide to show you round.

    In Dublin we have Deansgrange cemetery on the southside, local people Catholic and Protestant were/still are buried here.

  • Harry Flashman

    There’s a similar phenomena in Derry, when you enter the City Cemetery from the lower end you see many big graves, some almost mausoleums, commemorating old protestant families, many of whom must have been quite wealthy to erect such structures but as you move further up the hill there are no more protestant graves, there are occasional British servicemen’s headstones from the wars but from the 1960’s onwards it’s pretty much Catholic only.

    There is of course the ghastly INLA monument of a masked terrorist and frankly that alone would preclude most civilised people from ever wanting to be buried there.

  • Napoleons nose.

    Was there a annual Feile an Phobail this year? Did I miss it? The biggest feistival in W Europe and not a sign of it? Maybe they should get out more.

  • T.Ruth

    Thank you(Lord)Mayor and all those staff and local representatives who were there to help and welcome visitors. It was a very significant day for me and for many people who came to find out more about their families and the history of Belfast.
    T.Ruth

  • T.Ruth

    Thank you(Lord)Mayor and all those staff and local representatives who were there to help and welcome visitors. It was a very significant day for me and for many people who came to find out more about their families and the history of Belfast.
    T.Ruth