Granite Necrology Wall at Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery to lose inscriptions after third attack

grave of Michael Collins

The Necrology Wall seen behind the grave of Michael Collins, the Irish revolutionary, soldier and politician, at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin before the latest attack.

Photo: Simon Roughneen

A wall of black stone panels erected at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin in 2016 on the centenary of the Easter Rising, which paved the way to Irish independence, has been attacked for the third time. 

The wall is controversial because it was being inscribed with the names of all those who died in the conflicts from 1916 to the end of the Irish civil war in 1923. That has meant soldiers from the Republican Army and the British Army, as well as both Roman Catholic and Protestant civilians, can appear next to each other.

The idea was for the wall, which is called the Necrology Wall, to be an icon of reconciliation, but it became a wall dividing political and religious beliefs, with some dubbing it ‘The Wall of Shame’.

On the previous two occasions it was damaged the stone and the inscriptions were repaired. Now the Dublin Cemeteries Trust says the damaged wall will be replaced with plain black, uninscribed stone panels.

In a statement, the Trust says it believes if the wall were to be repaired and the names reinstated for a third time it would be vandalised again, and that the Trust is not in a position to be able to keep repairing it nor to provide sufficient security to ensure it is not damaged again. "For these reasons, to repair and continue with the Necrology Wall project is no longer feasible."

Violet-Anne Wynne, a Sinn Féin member of the Irish Parliament, has welcomed the decision. In a statement on Twitter she wrote: "There was outrage when this wall was mentioned in the first place. Why? Simple really, on the wall it commemorates a war that wasn't ours, it commemorates a group of people that caused so much pain in this country, killing people and raiding homes of innocent people."

Damage to the Necrology Wall at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin

Damage to the Necrology Wall at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin shown on the website of Irish national broadcaster RTE -