The Story of Boherard Graveyard, Co. Limerick

Vaulted tomb in Crean/Boherard graveyard, Co. Limerick

This graveyard is in the townland of Crean, in the parish of Mainster? and in the barony of Smallcounty. The townland lies east of the village of Croom and the N20 and north of the town of Kilmallock. The village of Bruff and the R512 lie to the east. 
It can be approached by turning east off the N20 onto R516, then take the R511 and the graveyard is on the left in pastureland. The Camoge River, a tributary of The Maigue River flows north of the townland, while the Morning Star River flows to the south.
Botherard translates to bothar meaning road and ard meaning high, the high road which this most definitely is.
The townland name Crean translates in Irish to An Crian and it could mean ‘the clayey place’  ( Westropp (1904-5,383) recorded the following details about Crean; “Chapel of Cran, given with Magio, 1410’.
The graveyard is roughly square in shape and is enclosed by a stone wall. No trace of the Medieval church remains and didn’t when O’Kelly recorded the site in the 1940’s.
A total of 47 memorials were recorded during the summer of 2022 by Historic Of this number four date to the 18th century. The earliest are two that date to 1776. One is a recumbant slab commemorating the burial place of Maurice Kerby, (memorial no. 00290). The other is a headstone commemorating the burial place of Richard Dooley, (memorial no. 0023).
The following surnames were included; Quaid, Higgins, Kerby, Molony, Cunningham, O’Donovan, Brown, Shire, Gagney, Hayes, Bourke, O’Sullivan, Casey, Dooley and Lynch.
18th Century Memorials in Crean, Botherard old
0019 Daniel McCarthy 1787
0023 Richard Dooley 1776
0029 Maurice Kirby 1776
0038 James Molony 1795
This post was researched and written as part of a grassroots heritage tourism project ( in collaboration with Ballyhoura Development CLG (, Cork Co. Council ( and Limerick Co. Council ( The stories were initially gathered during a community survey of the graveyard. They form part of the Historic Graves Project Destination for Ballyhoura (