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Irish language tours at Belfast City Cemetery

Date: 20 Jan 2023

Category: Things to do

Memorials, trees and bushes in City Cemetery with city skyline in background

Two free tours of Belfast City Cemetery delivered in Irish will take place this February and March.

The tours, which have been organised by Belfast City Council, will focus on the city’s development in the nineteenth century and the people behind the revival of the Irish language, including the role of Protestant Irish enthusiasts.

Tour participants will also find out more about the general history of the city, Ireland and beyond. Other topics covered will range from Belfast Celtic, education, The Blitz and the world wars.

Local Gaelscoil teacher, language activist and part-time historian, Sean Fennell will deliver the tours.

Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Christina Black said: “City Cemetery is one of the oldest public cemeteries in Belfast and as a result, it provides a fascinating insight into the history of the city.

“By considering some of the notable figures buried in the cemetery and their influence on our cultural development, these unique tours have been curated with Irish language speakers in mind.”

Delivering tours is part of a wider programme of work underway as part of the £2.8million City Cemetery Heritage Project, funded by Belfast City Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Councillor Black continued: “The heritage project aims to transform how people view and use the cemetery, including improving access to people from all backgrounds. As well as installing new interpretive visitor signage in both English and Irish, engaging directly with the Irish language community through outreach activities will help improve access to the cemetery to Irish speakers and provide a greater sense of ownership.

“This work supports Belfast City Council’s Language Strategy which aspires to create a place where linguistic diversity is celebrated and respected, for everyone who lives, works and visits Belfast.”

The tours will take place from 10am to 12 noon on Saturday 4 February and Saturday 4 March 2023. As places are limited, booking is strongly recommended. To book your place, email


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