MOUNT JEROME CEMETERY [HAROLDS CROSS IN DUBLIN]
This cemetery is old and contains many very elaborate graves that are very badly decayed.
In 1979 I lived beside this cemetery and it was effectively derelict and it was subjected to vandalism on a massive scale but in In 1984 the complete cemetery was purchased by the undertakers Massey. It contains over 300,000 burials but it is not possible to obtain a complete listing of burials which is unusual in Ireland.
In 1975 I attended a funeral here and it was really depressing and a few years later to cemetery closed. As we were leaving an elderly uncle turned to me and said "this horrible place is a perfect advertisement for cremation". In those days Irish Catholics did not elect to be cremated. The first crematorium on the island of Ireland opened in Belfast in 1961, but it took another 20 years for cremation to be available in Dublin, when Glasnevin Cemetery opened a crematorium in March 1982. In 2000, Mount Jerome Cemetery established a crematorium.
Mount Jerome was established as an exclusively Protestant cemetery but Roman Catholics have also been buried there since the 1920s. My Grand-Parents, who were not Protestant, are buried here but their graves are simple compared to much of what is on display.
In a way a visit to this cemetery can be a bit sad as many of the families who have members buried here have ceased to exist or have left Ireland. If you examined the grave markers you will immediately notice many people buried here had what are known as hyphenated surnames. In British tradition, a double surname is heritable, and mostly taken in order to preserve a family name which would have become extinct due to the absence of male descendants bearing the name, connected to the inheritance of a family estate.
The name of the cemetery comes from an estate established there by the Reverend Stephen Jerome, who in 1639 was vicar of St. Kevin's Parish. At that time, Harold's Cross was part of St. Kevin's Parish. In the latter half of the 17th century, the land passed into the ownership of the Earl of Meath, who in turn leased plots to prominent Dublin families. A house, Mount Jerome House, was constructed in one of these plots, and leased to John Keogh. In 1834, after an aborted attempt to set up a cemetery in the Phoenix Park, the General Cemetery Company of Dublin bought the Mount Jerome property, "for establishing a general cemetery in the neighbourhood of the city of Dublin".
The Funerary Chapel in the cemetery was the first Puginian Gothic church in Dublin. It was designed by William Atkins.
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