Places

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).

Matehy Graveyard in County Cork - spelling and lore (how did headstones end up in a riverbed)

When I look out the side window of my house, I gaze upon the newly erected signposts at the crossroads pointing to Cork, Berrings, Kanturk, and the more exotically sounding Mathey. I gaze upon this final signpost in disbelief because with all the European money and intellectual savvy, the signpost-makers have unforgiveably misspell and hence mis-represented one of the defining characteristics of my hinterland. ‘To be named is to exist’ and amongst the people who live in and aound this small rural hamlet the extraordinary legend of how it got its distinctive name is paramount. Read more »

Stories from Portnahinch Co. Laois

Last month I spent a wonderful evening in the front room of Margaret Corcoran’s farmhouse which is located a short distance from Portnahinch graveyard in Co Laois. Margaret is a graduate of an Historic Graves workshop and has surveyed and published the Portnahinch graveyard memorial stones on the Historic Graves site. Margaret had gathered a group of local interested people so that we could record some stories to add to the Portnahinch section on the website. Those gathered were; Rena Mc Evoy, Jack Kelly, Michael Keegan, Paddy Moore, Seamus Gorman, Carlo Westman, Tom Westman, Jack Hyland, Alan Robinson, Tom Cunningham, Margaret Corcoran and Matt Corcoran. Read more »

A Duel at Dawn and Other Stories

Michael O’Connell and the Ballineen Enniskeane Area Heritage Group (BEAHG) recently launched a book entitled The Story of Old Ballymoney A History from Headstones. The book is the second publication by the group and focuses on the many fascinating stories and mysteries contained within Ballymoney graveyard close to the twin villages of Ballineen and Enniskeane in Co. Cork. The previous publication provided the raw data in the form of a plan of all the graveyard memorials and a record of all the legible inscriptions. Michael O’Connell believes that one of the major achievements of the group was the unravelling of the mystery surrounding the lost dedication for the old church at Ballymoney. Read more »

From Santa Claus to Cromwell in Galway

The church of St Nicholas in Galway has a treasure trove of stories. It is linked however tenuously in some cases to the Knights Templars, Santa Claus, Christopher Columbus and Oliver Cromwell. It is also said to be the largest medieval parish church in Ireland still in use. Galway’s bustling market surrounds it on Saturday’s and local and international musical groups ranging from traditional to choral occasionally fill it with music. There are stone carvings of mermaids and gargoyles protect the vaulted south porch and throw water of the roof through their spout holes.  Read more »

Corcomroe - Dragons, Flowers and an O'Brien Effigy

Corcomroe Abbey is an early 13th century Cistercian foundation nestled at the head of a south west facing valley in the northern portion of the Burren in Co. Clare. On a recent family camping trip to Fanore we stopped off at the Abbey for a look around and were rewarded by a beautifully presented and partly re-roofed ruin. A well tended graveyard with some modern graves, surround the ruin to the south and east. The interior of the Abbey is also covered in memorial stones some dating to the late 17th century.

The dedication of the Abbey is to St Mary of the fertile rock which could really be a description of the Burren as a whole; a place noted for its barren rocky moonlike appearance but also for the richness and diversity of the flora.  Read more »

DIY Graveyard Survey and Online Publication

Margaret Corcoran attended our second ever Historic Graves workshop at Kilmanman graveyard in Co. Laois. Margaret must have enjoyed the day as she signed up to return to Kilmanman at a later date for more. We spent two further mornings in Kilmanman graveyard surveying with one afternoon in Clonaslee community centre and the other in the Laois Leader offices in Portlaoise. The afternoon sessions were spent exploring the website and working through the process of uploading that mornings geotagged photographs. Margaret wanted to record and publish her own local historic graveyard in Portnahinch, Co. Laois and we hoped to give her the tools to make this happen. Read more »

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