Archive

Tag Archives: Glasnevin Trust

34_TheyFoundTheGrave

—They tell the story, he said, that two drunks came out here one foggy evening to look for the grave of a friend of theirs. They asked for Mulcahy from the Coombe and were told where he was buried. After traipsing about in the fog they found the grave sure enough. One of the drunks spelt out the name: Terence Mulcahy. The other drunk was blinking up at a statue of Our Saviour the widow had got put up.
The caretaker blinked up at one of the sepulchres they passed. He resumed:
—And, after blinking up at the sacred figure, Not a bloody bit like the man, says he. That’s not Mulcahy, says he, whoever done it.

James Joyce. Ulysses (Page 88)

James Joyce was not the first born of John Stanislaus Joyce and May Murray. They had a son born on 23rd November 1880, some seven months after their wedding. The baby lived for eight days. Wyse Jackson and Costello say that the birth took place at home in Ontario Terrace whereas Ken Monaghan, who’s mother May was one of James Joyce’s sisters, in his book Joyce’s Dublin Family, says the boy was born in 47 Northumberland Avenue in Kingstown, now Dun Laoghaire. Regardless of the uncertainty of the birth, the baby was to be the first Joyce to be buried in the family plot in Glasnevin.

For the funeral, John bought a plot in Prospect Cemetery, Glasnevin, where he knew the Superintendent, David Malins. This was the only estate he would manage to hold on to until his own death. Glasnevin was on the northern outskirts of the city; the large graveyard there had the melancholy distinction of being ‘the Irish Valhalla’, as the burial place of, among other national heroes, Daniel O’Connell, who had helped to create it as an almost exclusively Catholic Cemetery. There were very few mourners at the freezing graveside; even the baby’s mother was not there – as it was not then customary for women to attend funerals.

John Wyse Jackson and Peter Costello. John Stanislaus Joyce (Page 100)

    Mr Bloom stood far back, his hat in his hand, counting the bared heads. Twelve. I’m thirteen. No. The chap in the macintosh is thirteen. Death’s number. Where the deuce did he pop out of? He wasn’t in the chapel, that I’ll swear. Silly superstition that about thirteen.

James Joyce. Ulysses (Page 90)

I have speculated elsewhere in this blog (Who was M’Intosh? December 23rd, 2014), about the man in the macintosh being a version of Stanislaus Joyce, but it was Stanislaus who noted that the impressions for the funeral scene in Ulysses must have been gathered from the two family funerals Joyce attended in the cemetery.

As Jim disliked funerals and avoided going to them , his impressions for the ‘Hades’ episode of Ulysses must have been gathered either at my mother’s funeral or at my younger brother Georgie’s. He was never in the cemetery again.

Stanislaus Joyce. My Brother’s Keeper (Page 235)

A headstone seems not to have been erected until after John Stanislaus Joyce’s death on the 29th December 1931, over fifty years since the plot was opened.

In accordance with the instructions from his father’s ghost (so the son suggested), the gravestone for Glasnevin was soon commissioned (via Alfie Bergan) from Harrison’s, who had done the arms of Dublin for the North City Markets in 1892. Bergan had heard directly from John Stanislaus that the inscription was to mention only John himself and his wife May. There would be nothing about the other Joyces in the same plot, not even poor Georgie or Baby.

John Wyse Jackson and Peter Costello. John Stanislaus Joyce (Page 425)

James Joyce could not have attended the first burial in the Joyce family plot. He could have attended the last, but chose not to return home for it, despite being named as his father’s sole heir. One of the curious aspects of the headstone is that there is no religious iconography. The white stone is surrounded by dark headstones, complete with obvious crucifix adornments. John Stanislaus left explicit instructions that only his name, and that of his wife were to appear on the headstone. The white colour, in stark contrast to those surrounding it, may have been chosen to indicate that children were also interred, white being the traditional colour of children’s coffins.

Bibliography

Costello, P. and Jackson, J.W. (1998) John Stanislaus Joyce: The Voluminous Life and Genius of James Joyce’s Father. London, United Kingdom: Fourth Estate.

Joyce, J. (1998) Ulysses. Edited by Hans Walter Gabler, Wolfhard Steppe, and Claus Melchior. Afterward by Michael Gordon edn. New York, United States: Vintage Books.

Joyce, S. (2003) My Brother’s Keeper: James Joyce’s Early Years. Edited by Richard Ellmann. Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States: Da Capo Press.
Monaghan, K. (2005) Joyce’s Dublin Family. Dublin: The James Joyce Centre.
jj21k_Glasnevin_01

Glasnevin Cemetery: 15 June 2015

jj21k_Glasnevin_02

Glasnevin Cemetery: 15 June 2015

Click here to see the route details on Runkeeper

14_HeisDead

The Death of Parnell

6th October, 1891

He cleared his throat once or twice and then began to recite:

He is dead. Our Uncrowned King is dead.
O, Erin, mourn with grief and woe
For he lies dead whom the fell gang
Of modern hypocrites laid low.

He lies slain by the coward hounds
He raised to glory from the mire:
And Erin’s hopes and Erin’s dreams
Perish upon her monarch’s pyre.

In palace, cabin or in cot
The Irish heart where’er it be
Is bowed with woe—for he is gone
Who would have wrought her destiny.

He would have had his Erin famed,
The green flag gloriously unfurled,
Her statesmen, bards and warriors raised
Before the nations of the world.

He dreamed (alas, ‘twas but a dream!)
Of Liberty: but as he strove
To clutch that idol, treachery
Sundered him from the thing he loved.

Shame on the coward, caitiff hands
That smote their Lord or with a kiss
Betrayed him to the rabble-rout
Of fawning priests—no friends of his!

May everlasting shame consume
The memory of those who tried
To befoul and smear th’exalted name
Of one who spurned them in his pride!

He fell as fall the mighty ones,
Nobly undaunted to the last,
And death has now united him
With Erin’s heroes of the past.

No sound of strife disturb his sleep!
Calmly he rests: no human pain
Or high ambition spurs him now
The peaks of glory to attain.

They had their way: they laid him low.
But Erin, list, his spirit may
Rise, like the Phoenix from the flames,
When breaks the dawning of the day,

The day that brings us Freedom’s reign.
And on that day may Erin well
Pledge in the cup she lifts to Joy
One grief—the memory of Parnell.

    Mr. Hynes sat down again on the table. When he had finished his recitation there was a silence and then a burst of clapping: even Mr. Lyons clapped. The applause continued for a little time. When it had ceased all the auditors drank from their bottles in silence.

James Joyce. Ivy Day in the Committee Room (pages 114-116)

October 6th is Ivy Day, the commemoration of the death of Charles Stewart Parnell who died in 1891 and the story centres around Parnell and his downfall, and finishes with this poem..

I ran to Glasnevin Cemetery to pass Parnell’s grave but also to look at the grave of James Joyce’s parents, John Stanislaus Joyce (of Cork) 1849 -1939 and Mary Jane (of Dublin) 1859 – 1903

The two graves are on opposite sides of a path from each other, both a short distance from the main entrance. You can see Parnell’s grave on the left of this Google Street View Image and the Joyce Family plot on the right

There is a lot of information on the Glasnevin Trust Website here. A brief article on the family, complete with Patrick Tuohy’s portrait of John Stanislaus Joyce is hereand a most interesting .pdf from the Glasnevin trust can be viewed and downloaded here

Several of Joyce’s siblings are buried in the plot and I will expand on this in a further post.

Bibliography

Joyce, J. (2006) Dubliners, Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism. Edited by Margot Norris, Hans Walter Gabler, and Walter Hettche. New York, United States: Norton, W. W. & Company.

Click here to see the route details on Runkeeper

%d bloggers like this: