Mount Jerome

Mount Jerome

In Brief

"Mount Jerome for the protestants," thinks Bloom in Hades. This large cemetery lies adjacent to the Dolphin's Barn Jewish cemetery in Harold's Cross, an inner suburb of Dublin just south of the Grand Canal. The still larger Prospect cemetery in Glasnevin is not denominational but it fulfills the needs of Catholics, who had no place to inter their dead with full religious rites until its founding in 1832. The difference in rites comes up in the cemetery chapter when Tom Kernan, an unenthusiastic convert to Catholicism, says, "The service of the Irish church used in Mount Jerome is simpler, more impressive I must say."

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Mount Jerome was founded in 1836 as an exclusively Protestant cemetery, and it remained so until the 1920s. It is named for Stephen Jerome, a 17th century vicar in the Church of Ireland. Today, the grounds of about 50 acres hold more than 300,000 graves and some notable botanic plantings. "His garden Major Gamble calls Mount Jerome. Well, so it is," thinks Bloom of Major George Francis Gamble, who was "registrar and secretary" of the cemetery in 1904. Vivien Igoe describes Gamble, who served in the Royal Marine Light Infantry, as "a keen gardener."

The Prospect cemetery similarly benefits from its proximity to the national Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, and the two establishments set Bloom to reflecting on the fertilizing properties of human corpses.

JH 2021
The entrance to Mount Jerome Cemetery in a 2009 photograph by Hohenloh. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
The grave of George Russell (Æ) in Mount Jerome Cemetery two days after his burial, in a 23 July 1935 photograph by Ellen O'Connor held in the Boston Public Library. Source: