CASTLEKIERAN GRAVEYARD, CO. MEATH
TOMBSTONES AND INSCRIPTIONS
Recorded by Dr Beryl F. E . Moore & Ml. Kenny 1975
CASTLEKIERAN GRAVEYARD is in a field not far from the road and close to the south bank of the river Blackwater. It is surrounded by a good wall and a high bank with a hawthorn hedge. It is rectangular, measuring 51 by 72 yds and had a good path around it, which is now completely grass-covered. On the east side about the middle is a clump of shrubs 10 yds square, so we have been unable to follow our usual practice of recording first all headstones on the east, but have had to do the north-east and south-east corners instead. This is a badly kept graveyard and nearly impossible to walk about in and apparently only has its grass cut in mid-summer.
North-east corner of east side of graveyard.
1) BARDEN 1939 – This headstone consists of 3 pieces lying in the grass in different places. The base is a square block, and the middle piece contains some fanshaped ornamentation and the inscription “IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY DEAR HUSBAND BRIAN BARDEN DIED 13th NOVEMBER 1939 AGED 75 YEARS. HIS PARENTS AND BROTHERS” At bottom…R I P & J. BENNETT ARDBRACCAN.
2) Tye 1770 – Domed top with cross IHS and heart in centre with a leafy design on each side. HERE LYETH THE BODY OF MICHAEL TYE WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE MARCH THE 29th 1770 AGED 50 YRS. THIS STONE WAS ERECTED BY HIS WIFE ANN TYE OTHERWISE MAGLEW”. A scroll is at the end of the inscription.
3) DEVINE No date – Floriated cross on top with a flaming heart in its centre and a little cross over the heart. The inscription is in a frame. “ERECTED BY JAMES DEVINE IN LOVING MEMORY OF HIS FATHER AND MOTHER PATRICK AND (AMERSAND) ELIZABETH DIVINE “ At bottom MILES MCCABE XDRUM.
4) GOGARTY 1904 – This headstone is similar to No.3 but much bigger . The text ‘THY WILL BE DONE’ is on a scroll at the top. “ERECTED BY JAMES GOGARTY IN MEMORY OF HIS PARENTS BRYAN AND CATHERINE. ALSO HIS BELOVED WIFE BRIDGET DIED 16th JULY 1904”. At bottom MILES MCCABE XDRUM. &
R I P.
5) FARRELLY 1891-1919 – Large ringed cross with rope design carved on it and 2 dragons are swallowing the ends of the rope. The inscription is on the base. “PRAY FOR THE SOUL OF MARGARET FARRELLY WHO DIED 11th NOV. 1897 AGED 40
YEARS. HER HUSBAND PATRICK DIED 19th NOV. 1898 AGED 88 YEARS. THEIR DAUGHTER MRS MARY COONEY DIED 6th OCT. 1891. THEIR GRANDCHILDREN BRIDGET DIED 14th DEC. 1903 AGED 15 YEARS. MARY DIED 19th AUG. 1906 AGED 10 YEARS. HUGH DIED 21st AUG. 1907 AGED 21 YEARS. TERENCE 20th JULY 1909 AGED 25 YEARS. AND THEIR SON TERENCE DIED 23rd NOV. 1919. AGED 56 YEARS”. At bottom R I P & GERRARD NAVAN. On left side of base we get….”MRS. BRIDGET FARRELLY CLONMELLON DIED 26th JUNE 1930. HER SON PATRICK GERARD DIED 21st MAY 1922.”
South-east corner of east side of graveyard.
6) FARLEY 1891 – An upright stone with IHS in centre of top and all covered with a thick coating of white lichen. “ERRECTED BY HIS BELOVED BROTHER AND SISTER IN LOVING MEMORY OF MATHEW FARLEY OF DERVOR WHO DIED 18th APRIL 1891 AGED 23 YEARS”.
7) FOX 1813-38 – A very large stone covered with white and yellow lichen tilting forward. One stopper-stone on viewer’s right. Domed top with cross IHS and 3 nails in a full sunburst. ‘GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO’ around the bottom of the sunburst. A stylised rose design made up of leaves on each side. Outside the sunburst is a complete circle of leaves. “THIS MONUMENT WAS ERECTED BY WILLIAM FOX ONGENSTOWN IN MEMORY OF HIS FATHER DANIEL FOX WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE THE 29th OF DECEMBER 1827 AGED 92 YEARS. ALSO HIS SISTERS BRIDGET AND JANE FOX WHO BOTH DIED IN AUGUST 1813 THE FORMER AGED 18 AND THE LATTER 24 YEARS. ALSO HIS BROTHER LAURENCE FOX WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE MARCH 7th 1894 AGED 35 years. ALSO HIS MOTHER MARGARET FOX WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE FEBY 21st 1838 AGED 90 YEARS”.
8) FOX 1771–84 – Cross IHS and flaming heart. A Dove on either side with a leaf in her mouth. HERE LIETH THE BODY OF BRYAN FOX WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE NOVR THE 21. 1778 AGE 86 YRS. HIS WIFE ANNE FOX DIED NOVR 24. 1771 AGED 57 YRS. HIS SON PATRICK FOX DIED APRIL THE 5. 1781 AGED 49
YRS. ERECTED BY ELIZABETH AND CATHERINE HIS DAUTRS. MARY FOX DIED SEPTR 1775 ANNE FOX DIED MAY 1784”.
9) MC CABE & NAULTY 1762-90 – Large stone with notched top, cross IHS and heart in a full sunburst. “ THIS STONE ERECTD BY MILES MCCABE AND BRYAN NAULTY HIS GRANDSON OVER THEIR FATHER INo MCCABE WHO DEPARTEd THIS LIFE MARCH THE 10th 1762 AGd 89 YEARS. ALSO THE BODY OF BRIDGET MCCABE DAUGHTr TO MILES AND MOTHER TO THE ABOVE BRYAN NAULTY. SHE DEPARTd THIS LIFE NOVEMr THE 5th 1790 aged 45 YEARS”.
10) Iron cross with no inscription.
11) SMYTH 1907-48 – Small plain headstone of grey limestone with IHS at top. “IN MEMORY OF OWEN SMYTH DEERPARK DIED MAY 1907 BRIDGET DIED JUNE 1928 EUGENE DIED OCT. 1932 CHARLES DIED OCT. 1939 Margaret died June 1948”. At bottom R I P.
12) MC CABE No date – Cross IHS and heart with a plant growing out of it, all within a full sunburst. On each side a couple of sprays of flowers which are continued down each side of the inscription in trails. There is a raised panel around the inscription, which starts with ‘GLORIA ETC’ “ERECTED BY THOMAS MCABE IN MEMORY OF HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND THEIR POSTERITY”
South side of church ruins.
13) SMYTH 1915 – The top of this stone was missing but we dug it up on the last day we were working in this graveyard. It was a cross. The inscription is on the base “ERECTED BY JOHN SMYTH IN LOVING MEMORY OF HIS WIFE CATHERINE SMYTH WHO DIED 17thFEB. 1915 AGED 56 YEARS”.
14) SHIRKEL 1867-1915 – This headstone has a small cross on top and another cross carved below it on the headstone itself. A frame is around the inscription. “TO THE MEMORY OF JOHN SHIRKEL OF LOUGHAN WHO ENTERED INTO REST JANy 31st 1867 AGED 48 YEARS. THIS MOMUMENT IS ERECTED BY RICHARD CHALONER ESQ OF KINGSFORT. IN GRATEFUL REMEMBERANCE OF ONE WHO SERVED HIM FAITHFULLY FOR 30YEARS. ‘THE RIGHTEOUS HATH HOPE IN HIS DEATH’ Pros 14 Chap. 32 Ver. ALSO TO THE MEMORY OF HIS WIFE ELIZABETH SHIRKEL DIED JAN. 9th 1915 AGED 90 YEARS”.
15) FITZSIMONS 1732 – Small stone more than half sunk in the ground and completely covered with white lichen. After much digging and cleaning we were able to read the inscription. It has a peaked top with a cross and IHS in a small full sunburst. “THIS STONE AND BURIAL PLACE BELONGETH TO JOHN FITZSIMONS FOR HIM AND HIS POSTERITY. HERE LYETH THE BODY OF MICHAEL HIS FATHER WHO DEPARTED JUNE Ye 24. 1732 AGED 60 YEARS. PRAY FOR Ye SOULS DEPARTED”.
16) ROONEY 1875 – Floriated cross with a chalice in the centre of the top of this large rectangular block which stands on 3 steps, the whole monument being some 10 feet high. The inscription has a frame around it. ‘ GLORIA ETC’ around the top. “ERECTED BY EDWARD ROONEY OF SEYMOURSTOWN IN MEMORY OF HIS BELOVED SON JOHN WHO DIED 22nd OCTr 1875 IN THE THIRD YEAR OF HIS STUDIES IN THE COLLEGE MAYNOOTH AGED 23 YEARS. OF YOUR CHARITY PRAY FOR HIS SOUL. RESQUIESCAT IN PEACE”. At bottom D. SCALLY & SON GLASNEVIN.
17) ROONEY 1895-1910 – A large ringed cross (5 feet) has fallen off this headstone and lies face down on the grass and its houselike cap now sits on the base on which is the following inscription. “THIS MONUMENT WAS ERRECTED BY PATRICK ROONEY OF SEYMOURSTOWN TO THE MEMORY OF HIS BELOVED MOTHER BRIDGET ROONEY WHO DIED APRIL 22nd 1895 AGED 75 YEARS. ALSO TO THE MEMORY OF HIS BELOVED FATHER EDWARD ROONEY WHO DIED JUNE 9th 1901 AGED 91 YEARS. ALSO TO THE MEMORY OF HIS DARLING CHILD EDDIE ROONEY WHO DIED FEB. 4th 1901 AGED 3 1/2YEARS. PRAY FOR THEIR SOULS”. On the last step R I P.
18) FARRELLY 1845 – Large stone with a nicely carved stopper-stone on each side. Domed at top with ‘GLORIA ETC’ over a cross & IHS. “ERECTED BY JOHN FARRELLY OF SEYMOURSTOWN IN MEMORY OF HIS BELOVED WIFE MARGARET FARRELLY ALIAS REILLY DEPd THIS LIFE JANUARY 13th 1845”. At bottom. ‘MAY SHE REST IN PEACE AMEN’.
19) McDONNELL 1876-1910 – Cross on top which has IHS in its centre. A little fancy circle in centre of each limb. A flaming heart on the shaft and a lamb on a cross at the base of the shaft. The inscription is on the big rectangular base, the whole monument being some 12ft high. “SACRET HEART OF JESUS HAVE MERCY ON THE SOUL OF THOMAS McDONNELL OF SEYMOURSTOWN WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE MARCH 3rd 1883 AGED 71 YEARS. ALSO MARGARET HIS BELOVED WIFE WHO DIED 6th OCTOBER 1876 IN THE 59TH YEAR OF HER AGE” At bottom ‘ERECTED BY REV. JOHN McDonnell in memory of his deceased parents 1901’.
20) HAND 1859 – In a curb. A tall plain stone with a small slab on each side of it. The tall stone has a domed top with ‘GLORIA ETC’ around a cross and IHS. “ERECTED BY MATHEW HAND OF WOODPOLE IN MEMORY OF HIS BELOVED WIFE ANNE HAND WHO DEPd THIS LIFE 20th DECEMBER 1859 AGED 65 YEARS”. At bottom ‘RESQUIESCANT IN PEACE AMEN’. On righthand slab which has a little cross at each corner “ETERNAL REST GRANT UNTO THEM O LORD AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE ON THEM. MAY THEY REST IN PEACE AMEN”. On lefthand slab there is also a little cross at each corner and “IN LOVING MEMORY OF KATE O’CONNOR EX NT WOODPOLE DIED 13th NOV. 1942. HER DAUGHTER MARGARET DIED 9th AUG. 1944. ALSO HER HUSBAND JOHN DIED 29th APRIL 1947. THEIR INFANT GRANDAUGHTER DARYL MARY ROGERS INTERRED HERE DIED 13th MARCH 1938”. At bottom R I P.
21) SMITH 1856 – A small stone only a few inches above ground until we exposed it. ‘CRUX MIHI SALUS’ around top with cross under it and on each side a chalice. There is something missing from the top, likely a small cross. “ERECTED BY MRS ELLEN SMITH OF 9 BURGH QUAY DUBLIN IN MEMORY OF HER BELOVED GRANDDAUGHTER ELLEN SMITH WHO DIED 30th AUGt 1856 AGED 3 yrs. & 3 MONTHS”. At bottom completely underground is a verse of poetry “ON ANGELS WINGS SHE TOOK HER HEAVENLY FLIGHT, SO MAY WE MEET HER IN CELESTIAL LIGHT”.
Tombstones on the west side of ruined church.
22) FLOOD 1874-88 – A large stone with a plain cross on top and a lamb on a cross below it. ‘GLORIA ETC’ around top and in centre a cross and IHS. “OF YOUR CHARITY PRAY FOR THE SOUL OF TERRENCE FLOOD OF WOODPOLE WHO DIED 24th MARCH 1874 AGED 90 YEARS. ALSO FOR THE SOUL OF HIS WIFE BRIDGET FLOOD WHO DIED 4th OF SEPTEMBER 1881 AGED 80 YEARS. AND ALSO FOR THE SOULS OF HIS TWO SONS PATRICK FLOOD OF VIRGINIA WHO DIED 29th OF JUNE 1872 AGED 40 YEARS. AND LUKE FLOOD OF WOODPOLE WHO DIED 31st OF OCTOBER 1887 AGED 56 YEARS. ALSO HIS SON TERENCE FLOOD OF OLDCASTLE WHO DIED 8TH MAY 1895 AGED 50 YEARS”. At bottom ‘ERECTED BY TERENCE FLOOD OF OLDCASTLE A D 1888’.
23) BRIEN No date – A broken stone with inscription on base. The top has a ringed cross. “ERECTED BY BRIDGET BRIEN IN MEMORY OF HER PARENTS PATRICK AND MARY BRIEN. ALSO HER BROTHER JOHN AND SISTERS FRANCES AND MARY. ALSO THE ABOVE BRIDGET”. At bottom R I P.
24) MCNAMEE 1831…A large wide stone with a domed top and 2 stopper-stones. This stone contains the best carving in Castlekieran graveyard. A crucifixion in centre at top with OUR LORD’S Head leaning to viewer’s left, arms upraised, Good head of hair, cleanshaven, wears a loincloth and has straight legs. A cherub is carved above on each side and also another pair of cherubs are carved below. “ERECTED BY RICHARD McNAMEE IN MEMORY OF HIS FATHER WILLIAM McNAMEE WHO DEPrd THIS LIFE SEPT. THE 24TH 1831 AGED 71 YEARS”. At bottom ‘REQUIESCAT IN PACE’. There is a motiff in connection with this crucifixion which we have not so far been able to solve…it is to viewer’s right of Our Lord’s loincloth and looks like material hanging in folds. It may be an extra length of loincloth not wrapped round the body. 2 holes are clearly to be seen at the top. Another suggestion is a couple of ropes hanging up or scourges.
25) FARRELLY 1907–10 – A peaked top with cross and IHS in its centre. “IN LOVING MEMORY OF PATRICK FARRELLY OF KIERAN WHO DIED 24TH FEBy 1910 AGED 81 YEARS. ALSO HIS ELDEST SON LAURENCE WHO DIED 14TH M ARCH 1908 AGED 27 YEARS. AND HIS YOUNGEST SON PATRICK WHO DIED 20TH OCTr 1907 AGED 14 YEARS”. At bottom W. HARRISON DUBLIN.
26) TUITE 1907-12…A small stone with a peaked top. IHS in a circle and a rose on each side. “IN LOVING MEMORY OF EDWARD TUITE WHO DIED MARCH 6th 1907 AGED 79. ALSO CATHERINE TUITE WHO DIED AUG. 13th 1912”. This inscription has a frame around it.
27) WIN 1817-21 – This old stone is in 2 pieces and we dug up the loose top and found
the inscription was on it. This stone is flaking very badly. There is a full sunburst with cross IHS and heart with a plant growing out of it. There is a frame around the inscription composed of a leafy trail. “ERECTED BY PATRICK WIN IN MEMORY OF HIS FATHER OWN (NO E) WIN DIED MARCH 3rd 1821 AGED 83 YEARS. ALSO HIS MOTHER BETtY WIN DIED MAY 4th 1817 AGED 71 YEARS. ALSO HIS BROTHER CHARLES DIED MAY 12. 1819 AGEd 25 YEARS”. The second ‘t’ of Betty is very small compared with the first one.
28) NULTY 1883-1918 – This large stone is lying on the ground and consists of a solid cross which has become broken off its base. This stone has a roll around its edge and an IHS in the centre of the cross. “ERECTED TO THE MEMORY OF JOHN NULTY WHO DIED 24th AUG. 1883 AGED 76 YEARS. ALSO HIS DAUGHTER ANNE WHO DIED 20th FEBy 1884 AGED 38 YEARS. THOMAS NULTY DIED 4th DEC. 1918 AGED 72 YEARS. HIS WIFE BRIDGET DIED 14th DEC. 1887 AGED 37Yrs. THEIR DAUGHTER ANNA DIED 4th APRIL 1903 AGED 19 Yrs”. At bottom ‘MAY THEY REST IN PEACE AMEN’.
29) FARRELLY 1874 – A very large stone peaked at top and a cross on the top. ‘GLORIA ETC’ around top with a cross and IHS below it. “ERECTED BY MARY FARRELLY OF SEYMOURSTOWN IN MEMORY OF HER BELOVED BROTHER WILLIAM A MEMBER OF THE POPE’S BRIGADE IN 1860 DIED 10th APRIL 1874 AGED 37 YEARS. ALSO HER FATHER AND MOTHER AND TWO BROTHERS HENRY AND BARTLE FARRELLY”.
30) O’REILLY 1926-46 – A Large Celtic cross in a curb with a flaming heart at its centre and its house-shaped cap on top. It has some rope design on the shaft. “IN LOVING MEMORY OF JOHN O’REILLY CLONFINNON DIED 18TH JANUARY 1926 AGE 70 Yrs. ALSO HIS SON EUGUNE O’REILLY DIED 19TH JUNE 1938 AGED 28 YEARS. HIS WIFE MARGARET O’REILLY DIED 29th MAY 1946 AGED 69 YEARS”. At bottom R I P & J. BENNETT ARDBRACCAN.
31) MC INERNEY 1899-1930 – A solid cross at top with IHS in its centre. This grave is surrounded by a massive curb. “ON YOUR CHARITY PRAY FOR THE SOUL OF JOHN McINERNEY OF SEYMOURNSTOWN DIED 1st JANry 1899 AGED 38 YEARS. ALSO THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS OF THE McINERNEY FAMILY…
MICHAEL DIED 1.4. 1902 PARENTS BRIDGET DIED 3.6.1900 NANNIE DIED 10.10.1909 ELLEN SR. OF MERCY DIED 5.6.1913 EDWARD DIED 30.1.1925
JAMES DIED 30.1.1925 MICHAEL DIED 22.2.1928. BRIDGET DIED 28.7.1930
R I P At bottom MILES McCABE XDRUM.
Tombstones in and around the church ruins beginning at the east end.
32) O’REILLY 1871-1906 – Simple cross on a base, IHS in its centre and ornamental circles in the centre of each limb. The text ‘THY WILL BE DONE’ down the shaft. “ERECTED BY SYLVESTER O’REILLY OF RATHENDRICK IN MEMORY OF HIS PARENTS PATRICK AND MARY, HIS BROTHER PATRICK DIED 9th MARCH 1871 AGED 23 YEARS AND HIS BELOVED WIFE KATE DIED 20th JULY 1887 AGED 34 YEARS”. At bottom MILES McCABE XDRUM. At right of base “LORD HAVE MERCY ON THE SOUL OF SYLVESTER O’REILLY DIED 3rd JUNE 1906 AGED 65 YEARS”.
33) BRADY 1894-1925 – A ringed cross with ‘THY WILL BE DONE’ around it and flowers and leaves carved over a good portion of the stone. “IN LOVING MEMORY OF JOHN BRADY OF CASTLEKIERAN WHO DIED 4th DECEMBER 1894 AGED 75 YEARS ALSO HIS WIFE MARY BRADY WHO DIED 27th OCTOBER 1925 AGED 73 YEARS. ALSO THEIR SON NICHOLAS BRADY WHO DIED 20th OCTOBER 1920 AGED 30 YEARS”. AT bottom “PLEASE PRAY FOR THE REPOSE OF THEIR SOULS”. J. SLOAN MONUMENTAL SCULPTOR, 1 PORTOBELLO PLACE, DUBLIN.
34) VAULT – Dr. Philip O’Connell thought it likely that this vault belonged to the Plunkett Family. It passes under the south wall of the Church and is a stone-lined room under the graveyard. The roof is arched and the entrance is a fine archway with its keystone but no door has survived. Apparently it was riffled years ago and only bits of coffins and bones have survived.
35) MADDEN 1890 – This stone and the next one are at the west end of the Church ruins. It is a solid cross with IHS in the centre on top of a slab. “IN LOVING MEMORY OF THOMAS MADDEN WOOLPOLE WHO DIED APRIL 12th 1890 AGED 64 YEARS. ALSO HIS BELOVED WIFE M. A MADDEN WHO DIED JULY 21st 1890 AGED 70 YEARS”.
36) RALEIGH 1904-9 – A ringed cross on top of a plain stone. IHS in the cross’s centre. “IN AFFECTIONATE REMEMBERANCE OF JAMES RALEIGH KILSKYRE DIED 7th SEPT. 1904 AGED 43 YEARS. HIS WIFE ANNA RALEIGH DIED 14th DEC 1909”. At bottom R I P and GERRARD NAVAN.
37) FARRELLY 1846-1927…This grave is at the south-west corner of the church ruins and its large plot is surrounded by a high wall on 3 sides and a high iron railing on the fourth side. 2 large yew trees are growing inside the plot and have done considerable damage. Even after a good dressing with a slash-hook there are still parts of this stone that can’t be examined. It is an immense headstone…9ft high and nearly 4 ft wide. There was some object on top which the trees have swept off, likely a cross. There is a lamb on a cross and rays proceed upwards from it. Then there is a floral design carved from side to side and a scroll with ‘GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO’. “OH LORD HAVE MERCY ON THE SOUL OF LAURENCE FARRELLY OF CASTLEKIERAN WHO DIED FEBRUARY 17th 1863 AGED 65 YEARS. ALSO HIS BELOVED WIFE MARGARET WHO DIED 25th APRIL 1848 AGED 50 YEARS. ALSO THEIR BELOVED SON THOMAS WHO DIED 7TH MAY 1846 AGED 21 YEARS. MICHAEL FARRELLY OF CASTLEKIERAN WHO DIED OCT. 29th 1916 AGED 84 YEARS. ALSO HIS WIFE BRIDGET WHO DIED JULY 12th 1914 AGED 83 YEARS. LAURENCE FARRELLY DIED 16th MARCH 1927 AGED 58 YEARS”. Lower down we get “ON WHOSE SOULS SWEET JESUS HAVE MERCY R I P “. At bottom FITZPATRICK & MOLLOY
38) Cross-inscribed stone coffin lid
39) Ogham stone dug up when sinking a grave in 1898