Stories

The 125th anniversary of Achill's greatest disaster, on Thursday 14th June 1894, was commemorated with mass and visit to the communal grave in Kildownet graveyard on Saturday the 15th of June 2019. All those who drowned were aboard the hooker "Victory" which capsized at Westport quay as it transported 125 seasonal workers from Cloughmore pier to join the Steamer “Elm" at Westport quay which was to carry them directly to Ayreshire. 
 
Prior to the mass which was celebrated by Fr.
Marriages in Ireland from the 16th century up to the 20th were certainly a lot different from those today. A custom known as ‘Fuadach na mBan' meaning abduction of young women was a noted occurrence within the context of the history of marriage in Ireland, even in Kildownet.  The fuadach can be described as the practice of carrying off a woman with the purpose of compelling her to marry a man who would then have access to her dowry of land or money. This form of abduction was often a crime of considerable terror and violence and was usually done without consent.
The engraved Dan Seat which was commissioned as a memorial to Dan McGinty and placed in Kildownet cemetery beside his grave was unveiled on the 13th August 2010 to mark the 200th anniversary of his birth in 1810.The occasion of the unveiling and a commemorative mass in the cemetery church gathered a huge crowd of Dan's descendants from far and wide to celebrate, Margaret McCann, Dan's youngest daughter known as Peggy Dan' who lived in Derreens applied to the Public Record Office in Dublin in 1919 for a copy of the Dan McGinty household census of the 30th March 1851.

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Terence Dunne visited us during survey work in Old Moybologue and while chatting he touched on his Clarke relatives who made their own headstone, his father's generation who were orphaned young with 11 siblings and how they overcame adversity by dint of being united. Premonition of death was experienced regardless of distance and long term illness with TB was countered by cooperation between family farms.

Introduction

Bohermore cemetery in Galway city, or the ‘new cemetery’ as it is called was opened in 1880. The cemetery contains two mortuary chapels – the western chapel was reserved for Catholic usage and the eastern one for Protestant use - and a caretaker’s lodge close to the entrance gates.

Magdalen Laundry related burials are found in three groups comprising seventeen different headstones and containing eighty names and associated burial dates. Similar to Forster St. the Magdalen related grave monuments, headstones and kerbs, were erected in the last decade."

This is one of the most moving headstones we have recorded in the last seven years. Day 2 of Gallon graveyard survey and we were in the middle of the photography. As we stood in front of this Latin cross we saw it was decorated with cockle shells and that it was dedicated to Mary Gormley who died aged 7 in 1935. Gallon is situated nearly 50 km from the coast so the family either already had cockle shells, maybe even collected by Mary herself, or went and got the shells deliberately to decorate her home -made headstone.

Mr Matt Donellan tells us the story of one of their family headstones and how the Donellan's came to Cavan, from Galway, for the building of Bailieborough church.

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