Shane MacThomáis

Published in Issue 4 (July/August 2014), Volume 22

The late lamented Shane MacThomáis giving a tour of Glasnevin Cemetery. (Glasnevin Trust)

The late lamented Shane MacThomáis giving a tour of Glasnevin Cemetery. (Glasnevin Trust)

Shortly before he died tragically earlier this year, the late Shane MacThomáis told the story of Martin Doyle in his regular column in the Northside People West. As historian and resident author at Glasnevin Cemetery, Shane was particularly familiar with the Dublin dead of the First World War and the Irish Revolution. His great empathy for the more than 200 men who died as a result of service during the world war who are buried at Glasnevin led him to support a project to erect a Cross of Sacrifice at the cemetery. Most of these men were wounded overseas, sent back to Ireland for treatment and subsequently died of their wounds. Many of them came from extremely underprivileged backgrounds and were buried, often in unmarked graves, in the cemetery’s ‘poor ground’ plots. Shane clearly felt that these men warranted our attention and interest as much as their revolutionary compatriots who were laid to rest elsewhere in Glasnevin.

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