Derry City Cemetery, Derry

#7 of 22 in Historic Sites in Derry
Cemetery · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Derry City Cemetery, known locally as the City Cemetery, is a cemetery based in the Creggan area of Derry, Northern Ireland. By the mid-19th century Derry’s graveyards were becoming overcrowded, and soon would reach capacity. To alleviate the strain the cemetery was opened in 1853, becoming the first municipal cemetery in the city. By 1867 the graveyards at St Columb's Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Church, and Long Tower Chapel had all stopped accepting ‘new’ burials. Due to this the cemetery became the main burial ground for the city's Protestant and Catholic population. It is the final resting place for over 70,000 people and includes graves to victims of the cholera pandemics of the late 1800s, as well as graves of those who fought in WWII. Hunger striker and INLA member Patsy O'Hara is also buried in the cemetery.

In recent years the cemetery suffered from vandalism and antisocial behaviour, with holy ornaments and flower pots being damaged or destroyed. In an attempt to deal with the problems the council installed CCTV. In May 2016 the City Cemetery Records Project was set up and 40 volunteers transcribes and verified over 45,000 entries from the Cemetery's Burial Registers from the formation of the cemetery up until 1961. In 2018 a local historian set up the 'Friends of Derry City Cemetery' to organise tours in an attempt to deal with the problems.
The cemetery is also rapidly approaching capacity, despite the opening of a new section on the lower part of the cemetery. As of March 2020 the council stated that there are approximately 650 plots that remain available, and that the cemetery is expected to reach capacity by 2025, although it will remain open to secondary burials until 2043.
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  • A brilliant tour by Seamus who has so much knowledge of the city. Our community group loved learning about the immense local history and the diversity within the cemetery. Would highly recommend for.....  more »
  • Brilliant tour today with Seamus. Very informative and interesting. Seamus is so funny with loads of stories. Thank you Seamus!  more »
  • Sister Clare was buried here. What a saint. A model of holiness. Now she is in heaven praying for us!
  • Beautiful cemetery , very well kept , so many young people died to soon , so it's very sad but peacuful and worth a visit
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