Monumental builder

Soon after crossing the Royal Canal on the Phibsborough Road—which becomes the Glasnevin (now Botanic) Road on the north side—the funeral cortège veers left onto Finglas Road for its "Last lap" to the cemetery, passing by "The stonecutter's yard on the right." There, on a "spit of land" jutting into the intersection, numerous stone grave sculptures evoke the shades pressing forward to speak to Odysseus in Homer's poem: "Crowded on the spit of land silent shapes appeared, white, sorrowful, holding out calm hands, knelt in grief, pointing. Fragments of shapes, hewn. In white silence: appealing." After this somber echo, the commercial language that follows strikes an anticlimactic and even faintly mock-heroic note: "The best obtainable. Thos. H. Dennany, monumental builder and sculptor."

JH 2020

Detail from 1920 Bartholomew map of Dublin showing the "spit of land" at the vertex of the pink V between Prospect Avenue and the Glasnevin Road. Source: Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center, Boston Public Library.

2007 photograph of Thomas Dennnany's "Leo" monument for John Keegan Casey in Prospect Cemetery, erected in 1885. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Paula Murphy's photograph of Thomas Dennnany's 1906 monument for the grave of  Joseph Hegarty in Prospect Cemetery. Source: www.jjon.org.