The Huguenot Cemetery, Dublin


Just off St Stephen’s Green in Dublin, on Merrion Row, there’s a small peaceful oasis. You can’t gain access, but peering through the railings you can see that it’s an immaculately maintained cemetery. Buried there are descendants of the protestant Huguenots who fled persecution in France following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.


I don’t know whether the spelling of “Hughenot” on the sign above the gate is a mistake or an alternative version.

On the left, just inside the gate, there’s a plaque on the wall that lists the names of everyone buried here.


The names have largely died out as the Huguenots intermarried with the residents of their adopted country or been Anglicised. The latter include the Becquetts, from whom the renowned Irish playwright Samuel Beckett is descended.

No longer used for burials, the cemetery fell into disrepair but was restored in the 1970’s and is now maintained by Dublin City Council.

This video, posted on Youtube, which is narrated by Jean Pitton who campaigned for the cemetery’s restoration,  provides some history and allows a closer peek inside.


St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin


Last Sunday, after looking round Merrion Square I wandered the short distance over to St Stephen’s Green and did the same. The pleasant park was really bustling with people of all nationalities (it seemed) enjoying the sunshine. And with daffodils and other flowers planted in the flower beds having finally emerged, it really felt that Spring had arrived.

2013-04-14 18.14.04

St Stephen’s Green was originally a marshy common on the edge of Dublin, used for grazing. But in 1663  Dublin Corporation decided to enclose the centre of the common and to sell land around the perimeter for building. The park was enclosed with a wall in 1664. As the South side of Dublin became fashionable Georgian style houses were built around the square. Unfortunately, relatively few of these original buildings remain today

Access to the Green was restricted to local residents until 1877, when the park was opened to be enjoyed by the general public.

This is the Fusiliers’ Arch  at the Grafton Street corner  over the entrance on the north west corner, at the bottom of Grafton Street, Dublin’s main shopping thoroughfare. Erected in 1907 it commemorates the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who died in the Second Boer War.



This statue of Wolfe Tone stands at the north east entrance.

2013-04-14 18.05.13

On the other side of the wall, inside the park, is a monument to the victims of the Irish Famine.

2013-04-14 18.06.34

Other Irish Patriots are commemorated by monuments in the park.

Countess Constance Markievicz, a revolutionary nationalist and socialist who was second in command of a group of rebels who occupied the park during the 1916 Easter rising.

2013-04-14 18.10.01

This statue of Robert Emmet, leader of the 1803 rebellion, stands opposite his birthplace at 109 St. Stephen’s Green (although the original building is lng gone).


Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa was a leader of the Fenians and prominent member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood.


There are also a number of monuments to notable writers.

2013-04-14 18.12.07

A very typical work by Henry Moore dedicated to the Irish Poet W B Yeats.

2013-04-14 18.12.29

A bust of James Joyce


This bust of the Indian nationalist and Nobel Prize winning poet Rabindranath Tagore, a friend of W B Yeats, was unveiled on the 17th October 2011 to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth.


This fountain, featuring the Three Fates inside the gate at the south east corner of the park was a gift from the German people to thank the Irish for help provided to refugees after World War II.