I am currently working on a project dealing with the evolution, development and social profile of Limerick's Mount Saint Lawrence Cemetery. This cemetery was established in 1849 as an archetypal Victorian garden cemetery. Between 1855 (when burials began) and 2010, c. 70,000 individuals were interred in Mount St Lawrence. Many were from County Clare.
The larger study of the cemetery over the 150+ years of its existence will cast light specifically on the thinking behind the establishment of the cemetery and on attitudes to death and its commemoration in urban Ireland from the mid-nineteenth century onwards and, more generally, on changing social and religious attitudes over time. It examines in the urban Irish context the transition from graveyard to cemetery, a large public park or ground laid out expressly for the interment of the dead. Reflecting developments in the broader western world, the establishment of Mount St. Lawrence represented the Limerick municipality's and local Catholic church's response to the pressure put on existing graveyards by the Famine and cholera epidemic of 1849.
Dr. Matthew Potter, B.A. (London), Ph.D (NUI Galway)