Peter Mulligan reviews The End: an illustrated guide to the graves of Irish writers by Ray Bateson, Irish Graves Publications, €20
FROM TIME to time a little gem of a book will appear on the market. This is one of them. When I say little I should say it really is heavyweight, in volume and content. With over 500 photographs and six maps, this book provides the location and direction to the graves of over 400 Irish writers, including all the big names as well as those now almost forgotten. Most were buried in Ireland though others are to be found spread throughout Europe.
There is a short biography with often-pertinent comment on each writer. Those who made a significant contribution to the historical, political, social, cultural, economic, scientific and sporting life of Ireland. Not all of those included are Irish.
There are photographs and maps and detailed direction to each grave, many overgrown and some very hard to find, but they are here recorded for posterity. If you can think of an Irish activist who has a gravestone, ten to one you there is a photograph and description in this book.
The author Ray Bateson is a proficient researcher and photographer. He has organised tours of all the main Dublin cemeteries for a number of years now giving the public an insight to the great and glorious who went before us.
All our history is there - the men of 1798, Thomas Davis, some of the Young Irelanders (48 were transported to Van Diemens Land), Michael Davitt, the 1916 people and the civil war people and the ongoing republican revolution for the ownership of Ireland people. Jim Connell, who wrote the Red Flag, Dan Breen of the Tipperary Brigade, Tom Barry of Cork's fighting story are there too .
Our people who lived and worked for a good cause and are herewith remembered. This is a great book of reference. Go out and get it - it should be on your bookshelf.
Connolly Publications Ltd, 244 Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8JR
Copyright © 2005 Peter Mulligan