THE multi award-winning Glasnevin Cemetery Museum had a surprise visit from the arts world when Yoko Ono popped by on her way to Dublin Airport last Friday morning.
The famous artist, musician and peace activist was in Dublin to receive a lifetime achievement award for her contribution towards the worlds of art, music and campaigning when she decided at the last minute to soak up a bit of Irish history at the Northside museum.
On arriving at the cemetery Yoko was given a private tour of O’Connell’s crypt where she asked for a few minutes privacy to say a few words. Leaving a beautiful bouquet of roses and orchids Yoko then asked countless questions on the life and legacy of Daniel O’Connell, whose crypt is located at the base of the 168 feet high round tower at Glasnevin Cemetery.
The Japanese born campaigner later took a short stroll around the various graves in the graveyard and showed a further appetite for Irish history when she expressed a desire to see the grave of Charles Stewart Parnell, “another man of peaceful solutions” as she described him.
The cemetery’s historian, Shane MacThomais, then gave Yoko a private viewing of the archival room at the museum. She was particularly interested in the accounts of Famine burials of the 1840s.
MacThomais said nobody at Glasnevin had any idea Yoko was going to drop by until her hotel rang on Friday morning and said she was on her way.
“She said that she would love to have some more time and would return for a longer visit the next time she was in town,” MacThomais added. “Her interest in Irish history was inspiring and her humanity was evident in her responses.”
Yoko was presented with the Glasnevin Trust publication ‘Daniel O’Connell, the Man who Discovered Ireland’ as a parting gift following her visit.
Earlier in the week Yoko, who was married to Beatle John Lennon, was presented with a lifetime achievement award for her contribution to the worlds of art, music and campaigning.
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague, chaired the event at the Point Village and during the evening he informed Yoko about the politics and achievements of the great liberator, Daniel O’Connell.
The lord mayor, who has visited Glasnevin on a number of occasions, advised her to try and visit the cemetery before she departed and she expressed a desire to see O’Connell’s final resting place before she flew out of the city.
• Glasnevin Museum is a not for profit organization and the museum is open seven days a week from 10 am till 5pm.