Glasnevin Cemetery's O'Connell Tower could soon be open to public

Visitors will soon be able to climb the staircase in O'Connell Tower at Glasnevin Cemetery following refurbishment work
Marie Louise McConville

VISITORS will soon be able to climb the iconic O'Connell Tower in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin for the first time in more than 45 years.

Refurbishment work to reconstruct the 51-metre tower's internal staircase has been ongoing for some time and is now on course to be completed by the summer.

The winding wooden staircase was bombed in 1971 in an attack that was blamed on loyalist paramilitaries. While the tower survived the blast, the windows and staircase were blown out and following this, the tower was sealed up.

It was said the bombing was in response to the destruction of Nelson’s Pillar on O’Connell Street in Dublin in 1966.

Built between 1855 and 1869 O’Connell Tower commemorates the life of Irish politician Daniel O’Connell, who had established Glasnevin Cemetery in 1832, and who died in Italy in 1847.

A crypt at the foundation of O'Connell Tower contains the sarcophagus of O'Connell.

Designed by George Petrie, the construction was funded by public subscriptions.

Now, refurbishment plans to reconstruct the staircase are almost complete.

It is thought the new staircase will lead to a platform, offering spectacular views facing North, South, East and West.

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