The first headstone to a Crown Forces soldier who died in the Easter Rising that I can recall meeting, was met where Patrick McGrath also lies.
Major Percival Havelock Acheson died on 29 April, 1916 and the headstone gives possibly more priority to Easter Week that the actual calendar date. The desire to find out more prompted by this headstone was satisfied very quickly by the internet.
Major Acheson did not die in Dublin as I had presumed and mentally filed away as I drove away from Castlehyde Cemetery, away from Fermoy towards Ballyhooly. If I had thought of Thomas Kent, and the plaque on the bridge at Fermoy, I might have done some internet searching there and then and discovered that Head Constable William Rowe, who died at Bawnard, is also a resident at Castlehyde – a reason for a return visit as I did not see that on my first visit.
Major Acheson died by a bullet from his own side, possibly a victim of heightened tension and nervy sentries – shot when failing to respond to challenge at a checkpoint outside Fermoy, near Grange.
The Find-A-Grave website appears to have a photograph of the memorial wall in Glasnevin Cemetery recording all of those who died in Easter Rising, including that of Percival Havelock Acheson – a name to look out for when I get to visit.
This is an expression not exclusive to the Republican side – as I would have thought.
I approached this graveyard memorial from the back. It was definitely interesting looking, demanding further inspection. It did not disappoint.
Often the word ‘Erected’ can be seen engraved on headstones. The unique style of this memorial did suggest that Daniel Courtney himself both made and erected the memorial to his wife and son.
The Irish harp and the dates around 1916 added to intrigue.
This was another from my visit to Kilmurry Cemetery in Passage West that went on the TO FIND OUT MORE list – surviving there for only a very short while, compliments of the internet.
The 1901 census confirms that Daniel Courtney was a blacksmith and lived with his wife, Kate, and his 4 year old son, James in 95 Hibernian Buildings in Cork city, an area known as Jewtown. The 1911 Census still has the three in the same house but records that there was a second child, who no longer survived.
To me, that only adds to the power and symbolism of the memorial.
The census records the son as James – so like Thomas Curtin, the name was changed to the Irish version.
The website, History of Na Fianna Éireann, has a photograph of Seamus Courtney who was born in 1897; who became Officer Commanding of Na Fianna in Munster in 1915; who spent three months in Cork Gaol in 1917; who was co-opted by Tómas MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney onto Battalion Council of Irish Volunteers; and, who died at his aunt’s house in Ballymacelligott in 1918.
The Bureau of Military History witness statement of Commandant P.J. Murphy records that the funeral of Seamus Courtney in Passage West involved firing three volleys of shots, the first time since Easter 1916 that firearms were publicly used.
Daniel Courtney died a few years later in 1921, shortly after the truce following the War of Independence.
It is somewhat disappointing to this observer that his name is remembered in stone and not in the medium of metal with which he worked and with which, I presume, he himself remembered his own family with the pike, a symbol of Irish uprising for centuries; the harp of the Irish Volunteers and the sunburst of Fianna Eireann
Yet another headstone that intrigued with its story – a headstone that shouted out to be place on the TO FIND OUT MORE list.
This headstone is located in Old Kilmurry Cemetery near Passage West. It is not my first blog post from my one visit – and will not be the last.
I did wonder when reading if ‘murder’ was only in the mind and opinion of the grieving brother who erected the headstone to Timothy Connell.
The web quickly led to HistoryIreland which educated that Captain William Stewart did kill Timothy Connell and six others .
However, the court held it was not murder – ‘not guilty, having committed the act while labouring under mental derangement.”
Captain James Gould Raynes, Francis Sullivan, John Keating, James Murley, James Cramer, William Swanson and stableman, Timothy Connell were bound and tied to the floor and attacked with crowbar and then an ax - but they were not legally murdered on board the Mary Russell.
I think I am with Patrick Connell and his use of language.
To lose a child must be so so tough.
Could you contemplate what it might be like to lose two children?
Now contemplate three children dying.
Now, if your three children died within 8 weeks…..
Last Tuesday week brought me to Passage West to commiserate at a funeral. Emotions were still too raw to sit through the memorial service so I headed homeward on a road not travelled before. I spotted Old Kilmurry Cemetery which called out to offer a few minutes chill-out time.
It was the overwriting on R.I.P of the name Josephine Devereux which caused me to pause and read, but then I saw that six months before she died, her three children, Mary, Eddie & Frank all died within 8 weeks – aged for 4 to 6.
It is now on my mental To Do List to investigate as to TB or other disease outbreak in 1943 that might have claimed four lives so quickly.
In the meantime, it will remain on my brain as a story so so sad.
It may be 75 years ago but that does not reduce the tragedy.
My first visit to St. James Cemetery at Chetwynd was exactly one month ago. There will be regular visits from here out.
I had seen a photograph of this headstone online but had to seek it out for my own eyes. There was so much to like
I remember Bernie Murphy as a sandwich board man or holding advertising signs around town – regularly throwing out comments at those daring to pass by.
The Dunne Brothers were musicians who would be spotted on Patrick’s St or Princes St or when my grandfather brought me to matches down ‘The Park’ or the Mardyke. They first introduced me to the sound of the banjo.
They and Bernie Murphy were thought by the younger me to be part of Cork that were always there and would always be there – the innocence of youth.
I will be nodding towards Bernie on my regular visits – There You Are, Bernie Murphy…..
I spotted tweets earlier today regarding the formal opening of the former Cork District Model School as the new Courthouse Complex.
There are many photos of the refurbished areas and the new extension – some of the 25,000 replaced bricks
What struck me when the scaffolding came down was not captured in any photograph or clip that I have seen but the mark left of the current generation of craftsmen to remind the future that those in 2017 also assisted its retention.
That April Friday evening, while I was taking my photos, a lady also stopped to look at the newly exposed building. She said that she had gone to school there and was looking forward to being able to look inside.
A few weeks later, in Chetwynd, I was reminded as to the titles I might like on my headstone and wondered if my school or place of employment might be one, probably not for me.
I didn’t make it back to the West Cork Stone Symposium. It was on this weekend but time, and life, didn’t allow me a spare day. I did order my chisels from TabulaRasa – I write that more as a rebuke and reminder to self, rather than a piece of information for readers.
When visiting Paris in November 2016, I spotted this engraver adding to the writings on stone surrounding a grave. I could have spent an hour or more just watching. Disneyland was calling for a ten year old so I did not have that luxury, but in the few minutes that I stood and admired, I was struck by the difficulty in the stance of the craftsman; his patience; and, the peace of the cemetery.
Leaving Cimetiére de Montmartre that morning, I remembered when, less than two weeks previous, on another lovely morning, we took time out of the Bank Holiday weekend to visit another cemetery – in Crosshaven when I left puzzled as to the correction made in a headstone.
I have blogged previously as to some stone engraving that might be considered less than perfect. Unlike the headstone at St. Bartholomew’s in Kinneigh, I did not for a moment consider this to be the work of a family relative.
I have on a few occasions pondered why the correction was made and allowed stand. I would have thought that many would have erected a new stone.
Maybe Mr. Porteous was a bit of a joker and wanted the last laugh at those left behind.
Maybe, it was deliberate to prompt passers-by, such as yours truly, to pause a while longer and think of Joseph McNeil Porteous – if so, it worked.
The tweets earlier today on other headstone corrections reminded me again of Joseph Porteous and prompted this rambling.
Today’s listing from Stair na hÉireann advised that on this day in 1916, Séan Ó Ríordáin was born.
This prompted a reminder to self to finish the grouping of the very many photographs and start uploading here. I have spent a while this afternoon putting together the different aspects relating to Seán Ó Ríordáin that I have encountered in the past few years – as well as a bit of a distraction on YouTube.
SEE ALL HERE
Clowns were never meant to be funny.
I read on twitter this morning that originally, they were masked demons. This has led to a lost half hour of work reading about the dark side of clowns and clowns impersonating the dead at their funerals.
I have even pondered reading my first ever Charles Dickens book, excluding the school enforced Hard Times. No doubt, if spotted in a charity shop, The Pickwick Papers will make it onto my shelves to tempt further.
The photograph that accompanied the tweet this morning reminded me of my escape time at Cimetière de Montmartre in Montmartre last year and this particular clown – a sculpture of Nijinsky.
I was pleasantly surprised at the time with the Clown of God – now I will have to think as to whether it was intended to be pleasant after all.
To what does ‘Registered’ refer, when carved on a headstone?
I was in Kilshannig Cemetery, near Mallow, a few weeks back and noted this headstone to remember Maryanne Turner who died in 1839.
I cannot recall seeing the word ‘Registered’ on a headstone previously.
Maybe some burials were not registered with the church/cemetery authorities.
Maybe not all deaths were registered – or even all births.
Another item has gone onto that ‘TO FIND OUT MORE’ list……..
Many thanks to John Tierney who provided some education and guidance on Twitter to effect that –
We see if fairly regularly throughout the country - it means they bought and registered the plot with the powers that be - usually the COI.
I think in Garrankennefick (nr Aghada, Cork) there is a "Registered and three foot on either side"
Or in this instance, the paper has not yet been pulped and milled. It is still in timber form.
But it is doing its best to cover rock.
Hungry Tree on Constitution Hill
The garden of the Kings Inn in Dublin was a short cut to college for a few years. It was even a location of practical exercises with chains and levels when we made efforts to learn of land surveying.
Our section was to the top of the garden so I never knew of the hungry tree until a few years ago from the Secret Dublin – An Unusual Guide by Pól Ó Conghaile . It is on the ‘To Visit’ list – just to see in person.
The North Cork Variety
A short while back, a blog post arrived in my inbox containing a lead photograph of the boat above and I immediately recognised it as being from a headstone at Kilmalkader in Corca Dhuibhne – the two blogs earlier this week, prompted a third.
The carving is on a beautiful and unusual headstone at the bottom of the cemetery, looking out to sea. The wording engraved is a simple message that Dr. Paddy Moriarty, who ministered to the peninsula for 30 years, died on 31 May, 1944.
My interpretation of the boat was escapism, Jonny Baker’s was returning to a safe harbour – there are probably many other interpretations. The engraving was memorable to more than us.
And that was where the blog would have finished until I went searching for more information on Dr Moriarty and, unless there were two Dr. Paddy Moriarty’s on the Dingle peninsula in the 1940’s, the headstone story weaves through Patrick Kavanagh, Raglan Road, a Fianna Fáil minister, and on to Dido.
‘On Raglan Road of an autumn day I saw her first and knew
Dido wrote Grafton Street in memory of her father, who was a nephew of Hilda Moriarty – O’Malley, the dark haired beauty that snared Patrick Kavanagh. The Irish Times said that as ‘a young girl, Dido was obsessed with great-aunt Hilda, the tales of her beauty and her role in Raglan Road’, and that she sung Raglan Road to her father as he was dying.
Hilda Moriarty was a student at U.C.D when Patrick Kavanagh spotted her on Raglan Road – the poem, and song followed. In 1947, she married Donogh O’Malley who went on to be Minister for Education and introduced free post-primary education for all.
In U.C.D., future President, Paddy Hillery, was a classmate. Richard Harris was a friend.
It was Autumn 1944 when Patrick Kavanagh spotted Hilda Moriarty and was smitten. He followed her home to Dingle peninsula, uninvited, that Christmas.
If there was indeed only one Dr Paddy Moriarty, that was the Christmas period that he died, aged 51.
A lovely headstone now has a story attached to it in my head.
On Sunday, I received a text about events in Ballymacoda at 7.30p.m. on Friday next, 31st March, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the death of Peter O’Neill-Crowley in Kilclooney Wood.
There is to be a commemoration at the grave followed by a display of information in the parish hall.
Then this morning’s Irish Examiner had further details of the Peter O’Neill-Crowley Commemoration Weekend including a talk at 5.30 at County Hall on Thursday and commemoration at Kilclooney on Sunday.
I first heard of Peter O’Neill-Crowley only a few years back when I read the name of the bridge near Victoria Cross.
Where Bridges Stand by Antóin O’Callaghan advises that the construction of the bridge commenced in 1820; it was named the George IV Bridge; in 1907 Cork Corporation agreed to change name; but, this change did not happen for a few years. The plaque on the bridge says 1911.
Since first spotting the name on the bridge, his name has appeared on a few plaques and memorials that I have seen.
With the 150th anniversary of his death coming up, I thought it appropriate to the plaques together.
Blogs I Read & Links
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For the Fainthearted
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That’s How The Light Gets In
Tea and a Peach
Buildings & Things Past
Come Here To Me
Pilgrimage in Medieval Ireland
The Irish Aesthete
Ireland in History Day By Day
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