East Meets West in Cork -Community Led Partnerships

There are over 30 LEADER companies in Ireland and the Rural Development Funds they use in community-led projects are confined to strict territories. However, when neighbouring LEADER companies follow their communities lead and engage in joined-up thinking we get synergy. We have been training and working with community groups in South and East Cork and the SECAD Leader company throughout April and May, adding 20 historic graveyards to the dataset on Read more »

Headstones and stories from Abington, Murroe, Limerick - 'If Virtue be a Blessing Great'

Following yesterdays storm we started work in Abington graveyard this morning. We are training members of  the Murroe community ( to survey and record their historic graveyards as part of the Ballyhoura Historic Graves Project ( funded by LEADER. About a month ago we worked together in Clonkeen ( graveyard and now we have reached the flagship graveyard of Abington ( Read more »

St Canice's Cathedral in Kilkenny

The Historic Graves project recently had a meeting in the Heritage Council Offices in Kilkenny which are nestled in the fabulously restored 14th century Bishop’s Palace building just outside the boundary wall surrounding St Canice’s Cathedral. I was early for the meeting and took the opportunity to explore the graveyard surrounding St Canice’s. By the time I ventured inside the cathedral it was close to closing for lunch but the nice lady manning the desk let me in for free to have a quick look around.  Read more »

The 'Staker' Wallace and Abbey graveyard, Co. Limerick

The 'Staker' Wallace is a renowned folk hero of south Limerick who was hung, drawn and quartered for his role as local leader of the United Irishmen of 1798. During a workshop in Ballyorgan last week we were told that following his execution it is believed his mother recovered his head and carried it in her apron to be buried in Abbey graveyard in the Keale (pronounced Kale) valley, Ballyorgan. Given that the 'Staker' was probably in his 60s when he died his mother must have been a good age. Read more »

A Workshop in Kells Co. Meath

It is easy to miss St John’s cemetery in Kells Co. Meath as it is tucked away behind a large stone wall on Headfort Place to the south of the town. It also gets somewhat overshadowed by St Columba’s graveyard located on the top of the hill which contains numerous high crosses, an early church and a round tower. St John’s cemetery however is interesting in its own right and is well worth a visit. The Historic Graves project used the graveyard as a location for one of our workshops which forms part of an historic graveyard care and conservation course which we are presently running in conjunction with Meath PartnershipRead more »

One marvel from St. John's graveyard in Knockainey, Co. Limerick

We have commenced two months graveyard training in Co. Limerick, funded by Ballyhoura Leader and in collaboration with Limerick County Council. The first graveyard we worked in today is St. John's, Knockainey and amongst many intriguing stories Michael Quinlan lead us to the headstone of a man who died, apparently aged 219. We will measure and analyse the dimensions of the numbers, letters and associated spaces to see can we decipher the meaning of this carved inscription.


The Bells in Moynetemple, Co. Tipperary

I jumped out of my skin when the bells in Moynetemple struck up yesterday. The day was dull and damp and even cold - we were doing some training in Moynetemple graveyard and also hoping to track down grave memorials of family members of John Maher (my fathers grandfather) who died in the muddy farmland of the Somme and Ancre valleys in July 1916.

The graveyard in Moynetemple is unusual in that the north and south portions are approximately equal in size and appear to contain an equal number of grave memorials; the north side of a graveyard is often smaller than the south and invariably has far fewer memorials. The ruined medieval church has the remains of a broad belfry at the eastern end. Of note are three tall limestone headstones grouped together and each containing the same carving of the passion symbols. They have all been touched up with black paint which jars a bit. We will publish a good photograph of this group in the near future.


Kilmacduagh, Co. Galway

On an unseasonably mild Saturday morning I took a spin down to the early Christian monastic site of Kilmacduagh located just west of Gort in south Co. Galway. It has one of the finest collections of churches in Ireland along with a remarkably well preserved round tower. The site is associated with St Colman who was the son of Duagh and the name Kilmacduagh can be translated as ‘the church of the son of Duagh’. In the lowlands of south Galway it was the principal ecclesiastical foundation under the patronage of the kings of Ui Fiachrach Aidhne in early medieval times. In later medieval times it became the seat of a diocese of the same name, which was co-extensive with the baronies of Kiltartan and Dunkellin. Read more »

The Wonders of Fore Co. Westmeath

A quite valley in the rolling hills of Westmeath north of Mullingar contains the small village of Fore. As you leave Castlepollard and turn right off the main road and up the small valley a view of the ruins of a Benedectine Priory rising from the flat valley floor is the first thing to strike you and as you enter the valley the rich archaeological and historical heritage contained within jumps out from every slope and flat field.  Read more »

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