Places

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 »

Surnames of Barony, Kilkenny

Preparations are afoot for an evening session (scheduled for Fri evening 24th February) to wrap up last years work at Barony graveyard in north Kilkenny. This will be the first of these formal wrap ups we have been involved in and we hope that, with the community group, we will come up a stimulating event, which matches the unique character of the place.

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Clonpriest Graveyard

I attended a funeral in Clonpriest two years ago and have wanted to revisit ever since. There are at least three headstones which measure over 2 m tall as well as a fine collection of 19th century limestone memorials. The old graveyard with its ruined church gable and walled burial plot has been extended to the north and the surnames found include Gleesons, Motherways, a Boll and a Connon (the latter two were new to me). While rummaging around the graveyard for ten minutes this morning I recorded the sounds of the entrance gate and left the Zoom H2 recorder running for a while wondering how much of the surrounding sounds would be captured. Read more »

St James' Church and Cemetery, Galway

Introduction

St James’ Church and cemetery in the eastern Galway suburb of Merview was the subject of a survey and excavation led by Jim Higgins during the 1990s. The excavation and survey programme was funded by FÁS and Galway City Council. Read more »

A Mortality Memorial in Kill Graveyard, Co. Cavan

We recently spent a wonderful Saturday giving one of our survey workshops in Kill graveyard in the townland of Drumhurt just south west of Cootehill in Co. Cavan. A committed group of around twenty people showed up on a dull and slightly damp morning. The graveyard is oval in plan and is defined by an earthen bank to the west and north and a boundary wall which separates the graveyard from a curving road to the east and south. The graveyard splays out around a low mound which has a number of large yew trees towards its summit. Read more »

The Dominican Priory in Athenry

 Introduction

Eachtra have been monitoring excavations in Tuam associated with a new water supply scheme. Last week the ‘big dig’ as the works have become known moved to Athenry and next week Eachtra will be pre-excavating a trench along Abbey Row which runs just to the west of the Dominican Priory. I took the opportunity while planning next week’s excavations to have a look around the graveyard surrounding the priory building to the north and east. Read more »

The Old Graveyrad in Tuam - Temple Jarlath

Introduction

Eachtra have been monitoring works associated with the Tuam water supply scheme for the past year. The ‘big dig’ as it is known locally has seen all of the streets in the town excavated in order to replace the water and waste water pipeline services and to add additional Broadband, Gas and ESB ducting. As Tuam is such an historic town we have been monitoring the excavations in an attempt to identify and record features associated with its long history. The monitoring brief has meant I have walked past and around Temple Jarlath hundreds of times. Read more »

East Cork Historic Graveyard Surveys in 2011

On a recent field survey in the midlands one of the trainees remarked 'There are more people in graveyards now than are attending mass!'. A slight exaggeration maybe but it does reflect the growing engagement in Ireland with the care and conservation of historic graveyards. One group in Cork city are surveying St. Finbarr's Victorian cemetery and publishing their work to Google Maps (http://g.co/maps/ygzjk) and we are working with a neighbouring group on St. Josephs cemetery (http://historicgraves.ie/graveyard/st-joseph-s-cemetery/co-stjh) on Tory Top Road. Read more »

John Murphy and the Burgery Ambush in Dungarvan

Eddie Cantwell has been busy surveying historic graveyards in West Waterford and publishing stories associated with the graveyards and graves. One of the most famous events in the War of Independence was the Burgery Ambush (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgery_ambush and http://www.waterfordcountymuseum.org/exhibit/web/Display/article/22/6/). This ambush in 1921epitomises the violence of the time when communities were riven and there was blood on the streets of Ireland.

John Murphy was a key munitions expert for the West Waterford IRA in 1921 and it was his capture which prompted the ambush outside Dungarvan. In this (http://historicgraves.ie/story/john-murphy-1876-1977) Historic Graves story Eddie fills us in on the role of John Murphy in West Waterford affairs and also shows us where the man found peace at the age of 91, in Garranbaun graveyard (http://historicgraves.ie/graveyard/garranbaun/wa-grbn).

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