The online archive created to help mourners locate burial sites in Rathnew Cemetery has been very well received.
he online archive documents more than 6,500 burial plots and includes a digital map showing each plot and the grave number. Signs and maps were also erected around the cemetery.
The initiative was led by Cllr Paul O’Brien, working with Michael Durkan of Irish Graveyards and Wicklow County Council.
The program started before Covid and was significantly delayed by the pandemic, but everything was in place for the annual Graves Blessing held in July.
“It’s a large graveyard with different sections and there are maps and signs which list the names of all those buried and where they are buried. There are also QR codes where people can log onto irishgraves.ie , then type in the name of the person whose burial plot you are looking for and you will receive a picture of the grave and where it is,” said Cllr O’Brien.
The successful completion of the project has garnered many positive comments, especially from people who have relatives or loved ones buried in the cemetery, but have never known the exact location of their graves until now. .
Cllr O’Brien added: ‘I have heard of a story where a man from Wexford visited his parents’ grave in Rathnew Cemetery, and his grandparents were also buried there, but he did not know where. This went on for almost 50 years until the online archives and maps were in place.
“I hear similar stories from families living in Newtownmountkennedy, Ashford and Wicklow. They knew they had relatives or loved ones buried in the cemetery, but they didn’t know where.
“It is also of great benefit to any foreign person visiting Rathnew Cemetery to pay their respects. It is now easy for them to locate any grave in the graveyard. It was great to reunite with the Blessing of the Tombs after an absence due to Covid, and it was wonderful to see such large crowds gathered around the map and listen to all of their different accents. The archives will also be regularly updated.