Ireland’s oldest Jewish cemetery, the Ballybough Jewish cemetery in the Fairview section of northeast Dublin, has been handed over to the Dublin City Council for care, management, and maintenance, according to the Irish Times.
Located behind a wall and encompassing around 2,500 square meters, the cemetery celebrates its 300th anniversary next year. It includes 148 headstones, though probably more burials, and was closed at the end of the 19th century (though a few burials took place after that), when a new cemetery was opened in the southern part of the city. It has been managed to date by the Dublin Jewish Board of Guardians.
The cemetery is entered via a gate lodge on Fairview Strand that was built in 1857 — the Hebrew date 5618 is inscribed on a plaque on the front of the building. The gate lodge and cemetery are both on the Dublin City Council’s list of protected structures.
In recent years, the grounds have become overgrown, and the board of guardians has not had the funds to continue maintaining the house and cemetery.
“The Jewish community in Dublin is very much diminished, as are our funds. We decided the maintenance of the cemetery wasn’t the best use of funds, and the council expressed an interest in taking it over,”said Lance Grossman, chairman of the board.
He said he hoped the cemetery would be open to the public once it is restored.