Thursday 14 December 2017

The grave but lucrative business of tombstone tourism

Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin
Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin

John Daly

Death is a thriving business, as any funeral director will tell you. So the news that Glasnevin Cemetery has introduced a new 'Dead Interesting' tour should come as no surprise.

Long known as 'the dead centre of Dublin', this final resting place of 1.5 million souls will now thrill the tourist throngs with tales of the Seapoint tragedy, the woman who was buried twice and the parrot mistakenly shot for bodysnatching. Tombstone tourism might, at first glance, seem a ghoulish form of vacation entertainment, but has become a gravely important source of revenue in cities around the world.

Offering much more than a morbid fascination with death, tours of sacred places like the 185-year-old Glasnevin are genealogical journeys of cultural appreciation and quirky lore.

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