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 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