Tributes to historian found dead in cemetery

By Cormac Murphy

TRIBUTES have flooded in for world-renowned Dublin historian Shane MacThomais who was found dead in Glasnevin Cemetery.

Mr MacThomais (46), a father-of-one, was a resident historian in the iconic northside graveyard and popular tour guide and was a regular contributor to TV and radio.

George McCullough, chief executive of graveyard operator Glasnevin Trust, said that Mr MacThomais was "a much-loved and respected colleague".

"His rich knowledge and deep appreciation of the heritage of Glasnevin and its place in Ireland's history, together with his extraordinary ability to engage with people has been an integral part of the visitors experience to Glasnevin," he said. "His loss will leave an enormous void in all our lives. He was not only a colleague but a personal friend to all."


SIPTU general president Jack O'Connor said that the historian worked closely with the union on a number of events in recent years, in particular during the centenary of the 1913 Lockout.

Mr MacThomais, whose body was discovered on Thursday afternoon, "paid particular attention in ensuring the last resting places of those too often forgotten in Irish history were properly marked", Mr O'Connor said.

Commenting on Twitter, RTE presenter Rachel English said: "So sorry to hear of the death of historian Shane MacThomais. He was always a wonderful, informative and enthusiastic radio guest."

The history expert also worked in the James Joyce Centre as its librarian and archivist.

He was the author of Dead Interesting: Stories from the Graveyards of Dublin, published by Mercier Press.

He is survived by his daughter, mother, sister and brother.