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Mystery of the message in a graveyard bottle

The mystery of the parchment found in a tomb at Glasnevin Cemetery has yet to be revealed

EXPERTS in ancient papers are to be drafted in to solve the mystery of a letter in a bottle found in Dublin's historic Glasnevin cemetery.

Historians were astounded at the discovery of a bottle containing rolled parchment when restoration work was taking place on one of its tombs.

The gravesite belonged to 19th century master jeweller and watchmaker John Donegan, who was based in Dublin's Dame Street and specialised in making religious paraphernalia.

In a Facebook post, the cemetery museum said the contents of the paper remain unknown but “all will be revealed soon”.

A spokesman said: “Glasnevin Trust is currently working with various paper conservationists across Ireland as to the best way to open the scroll."

The jeweller, was known for his generosity, died in 1862 and was buried in Glasnevin, where the future leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising and the War of Independence were laid to rest.

“Throughout his career, Donegan gave every priest going on the foreign missions a silver chalice, paten and case for the holy oils and any Irish man who distinguished himself in the cause of patriotism received a gold watch," the museum said.

"He also made the silver crucifix that stood on the coffin of the Young Ireland leader Terence Bellew MacManus.

“Donegan gave thousands of pounds to All Hallows College in Drumcondra, Dublin, and gave the cathedral in Armagh chalices, monstrances to display the consecrated Eucharistic host and ciboriums, chalice like vessels, set in diamonds."

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