Nohoval Lower Graveyard


Written By Christy Lehane

Nohoval  Lower Graveyard is located on the Cork side of the free flowing river Blackwater on the R582  Knocknagree to Rathmore road and taking the  L 5156 side road to the graveyard. Nohoval  is also regarded as  the headquarters of the powerful  O’Dalaigh  clan of old.

The name Nohoval  is contained in the names of three adjacent townlands  namely  Nohoval  Upper, Nohoval Lower and Nohoval Daly. History has recorded that a monastery was erected in Nohoval  in the year 556 AD by Saint Finian whose feast is celebrated on December 13th .  Cromwell’s forces later destroyed the monastery. In the year 832 AD a round tower was built for protection from the invading Danes. Both church and tower were connected to underground passages to enable people to flee when under attack. The church was built with limestone. Many stone forts existed in a nearby field but all these are now laid low the stones being used for road building. Moving on to around 1645 the monks at Nohoval were again dislodged from their home and to build a new chapel nearby in Nohoval  Daly. It is not known when the monks finally left this area. Thomas Lynch a local man from the Bower ( a townland  just outside Rathmore  village ) is credited with making most of the tombstones in this graveyard including a headstone for his father who died on 16th August 1793. Rounds were also performed at Nohoval  especially on Good Friday. There is one grave in this cemetery known as Shine  Lawlor’s which tradition tells us was the altar of the old church which stood for 1000 years. A priest’s grave that of Fr. O’Leary dated 1784 and   Fr. John  Sheehan  is situated at the Western  side  of  the graveyard  near the entrance gate. His grave is no 005 in Historic Graves Recording on system. In olden times rounds were made around priests  graves.  A total of 196 headstones are now visible in Nohoval   graveyard.    

Eoghan  Rua  O’Suilleabhain who was born in nearby Meentogues  had associations with Gneevguilla where he had a school for a while and Knocknagree where he had a school and where he died in a fever hut. Some local tradition say he was buried in Nohoval  Graveyard. Perhaps local church records might solve the question but Ray Bateson in his book titled “ An Illustrated Guide To The Graves Of Irish Writers” states that Eoghan  Rua  O’Suilleabhain is buried in Muckross  Abbey  Killarney, in the choir, under the third slab out from the arched  O’Sullivan Mor tomb recess in the right – hand wall.