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The Huguenot Cemetery, Dublin

Tucked away on Merrion Row, beside the Shelbourne Hotel you will find The Huguenot Cemetery.

Opened in 1693 this is a little oasis of calm in an otherwise busy part of the city. The cemetery is not open to the public but one can look through the railings and on the boundary wall to the left hand side are plaques listing the names of the 240 or so souls who are buried here.

The Huguenots were French Protestants and in 1685 when the catholic Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes, which gave protection to minority religions, they and other minorities became the subject of religious persecution.

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James Butler, the Duke of Ormond, spent 12 years in exile in France during the English Civil War but returned to Ireland as Lord Lieutenant on the restoration of the Monarchy. During his time in France he came to know the Huguenot community and much admired their disciplined way of life. James sympathised with their religious beliefs but also realised that they could quickly give the Irish economy a badly needed boost. It was at his invitation that up to 10,000 Huguenots came to Ireland, with many of them settling in Dublin, particularly in The Liberties. As an industrious people they soon enjoyed commercial success in several industries including textiles, finance and watchmaking, and they played a significant role in the growing Irish economy.

The cemetery was closed in 1901 and over the course of the 20th century fell into disrepair, however, in the later part of the century it was restored by The French Government and is now maintained by Dublin City Council.

As you leave the cemetery look at the engraving over the entrance gate Huguenot Cemetery 1693 is misspelt as Hughenot Cemetery 1693 is this a stone masons typo?

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