Belfast City Cemetery

Belfast City Cemetery

Belfast City Cemetery is a cemetery in Belfast, Northern Ireland. As with the adjacent Milltown Cemetery, it is located in the nationalist area of the Falls Road in the west of the city. It is maintained by Belfast City Council.

Following the Belfast Burial Ground Act (1866), the cemetery was opened on August 1, 1869 as a cross denominational burial ground for the people of Belfast, a fast growing Victorian city at the time. The land was purchased from Thomas Sinclair. The cemetery features cast iron fountains and separate Protestant and Catholic areas, divided by a sunken wall.

Many of Belfast's wealthiest families have plots in the cemetery, particularly those involved in the linen trade. Those buried in it include John Hopkinson, Viscount Pirrie, Edward Harland and Daniel Joseph Jaffe, who built Belfast's first synagogue. Writer Robert Wilson Lynd is also buried in the cemetery.

There has been an area set aside for Belfast's Jewish residents since 1874. [ [ Irish Gravestone Inscriptions, Tracing your Irish Ancestors: Introduction ] ] In this area is a memorial to Daniel Joseph Jaffe. Daniel Jaffe was the father of Otto Jaffe, a Jewish linen exporter and former Lord Mayor of Belfast.

In 1916 an area was dedicated to soldiers killed in World War I. Many of the United States Army personnel killed in the sinking of HMS Otranto in 1918 were buried in the graveyard. After the war their bodies were exhumed and repatriated to the United States.

Since its opening in 1869 around 250,000 people have been buried in the cemetery. In the past it was the frequent target of vandalism, many of the British Army soldiers' headstones were moved to Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park. Due to its historical importance, the cemetery is a popular tourist attraction in Belfast, with guided tours available.

On April 8, 2006 Denis Donaldson was buried in the cemetery. Donaldson was a former IRA member and Sinn Féin politician. He was killed shortly after being named as a British spy. His burial in the City Cemetery rather than in the republican plot of Milltown Cemetery was significant, as it was seen as a final snub by the republican movement.


External links

* [ Belfast City Cemetery]

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