Video of rubbings in Shanrahan, Co. Tipperary, and a very fine headstone

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Shanrahan Clogheen


Under the shadow of the Knockmealdowns Tony & Mark took to the recording of the graveyards of south Tipperary like ducks to water. Mark is a geographer and Tony a retired builder so they both had a strong spatial sense and a tidy approach to dealing with paperwork.

This video shows the lads doing their first newsprint rubbing in Shanrahan graveyard. The group of graveyards from Newcastle, Tubrid and Shanrahan have a distinctive iconography of carving in the tympanum (top part of headstone). Common motifs in the Arma Christi headstones are the Pillar on which Our Lord was scourged entwined with the rope which bound him and this is clearly seen in the rubbing.

The second part of the video shows the back of the Walsh family headstone which we originally thought might be an imported slate headstone. However, it is a fine grained limestone with some of the finest stone carving we have seen in Ireland. In many cases families paid to dress the back of the headstones but in this case it is decorated with a top quality design and an expert hand. The Crucified Christ is exceptional in its depiction and the snake and skull remind us that life is short.

This training project was organised by Knockmealdown Active and funded by South Tipperary Development with Rural Development Funding.

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