According to P.J. and his lady wife, whose evening stroll I interrupted, when in Shanrahan Cemetery last week, this small section was a Cillín, where unbaptised babies were buried.
I remember first learning of a Killeen or Cillín or Ceallúrach over 30 years ago in a book by Mary Leland, which I have just borrowed from the library to relive that moment of amazement.
The amazement at the existence of such burial grounds was heightened by the fact that, to my knowledge, I had never seen a Cillín. This continued for many years, until 2014 when I spotted the above plaques in Cromane and Killorglin in Co. Kerry. Subsequently, I noted a plaque at Ballygarvan in Co. Cork and have spotted mention to some Cillín’s that have gone on my To Visit map
It appears that it has taken many years for Ireland to be no longer ashamed of Cillín, possibly facilitated and assisted by the passing of time since 1994 when the Catholic Church lifted the prohibition on unbaptised being buried in consecrated ground – only 26 years ago.
The Schools Collection of the National Folklore Collection has many references to ‘Cillín’ and ‘Killeen’ which hopefully I will study in the coming weeks. The Irish Examiner noted in 2014 of some Cillíní being brought back and recognised by the community. It is reported that there are 1,444 Cillíní on the island of Ireland – my expectation would have been a significantly greater number.
If you are aware of any plaque or memorial erected at a Cillín, I would be delighted to receive any details as to where, when, by whom – please use the Contact page
“As the lane curves around towards the graveyard there is a small patch of ground on which lumps of rough-hewn stone are scattered. They are small, each less than the size of a football. There is a sign that reads: ‘Don’t pray for us/ no sins we knew / But for our parents/ they’ll pray for you.
‘A lady was found drowned, it seems, on the Island Strand at the time when Santa Maria de la Rosa floundered. According to old stories about her she was a wealthy woman; she wore many rings and bracelets of gold and was buried at Castle Point where the graveyard is today. She was not buried, strange to say, in the graveyard proper but outside it. Years ago an old man showed me the spot.’
‘The weeping and the wailing grew loud again as the coffin was lifted on to the shoulders of four men, carried out of the house and down the steep and slippery path that led to the island harbour. On the way they passed the tiny graveyard at Castle Point, which was used for children who had died before they were baptized. The adults buried there were unidentified shipwreck victims, soldiers, suicides, and a few souls whose funerals had been confined to the island by storm.’
As we were making to leave the cemetery for the first time, local residents, P.J. and his good wife, out for their evening stroll, educated me as to The Fairy Tree and brought me to the grave of Katie Ryan where the headstone records the name of the deceased and the song.
It is a bad day when one does not learn something new.
There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.
Maybe Not Lost Lost – Just Lost In Plain Sight
When in Shanrahan last week, I decided to look out for headstones, the subject of Photo Requests on the Find-A-Grave website. Three requests proved elusive. William Wade was spotted close to the O’Callaghan mausoleum.
The date of death of 1965 suggested that the headstone of Edward Sackville-West would be easily found in the new part of the cemetery and it was. His Find-A-Grave biography does read of an interesting life.
That evening I met P.J. and his lady wife who were out for a stroll and advised that they understood that Edward was descended from the family that gave its name to Sackville Street – now O’Connell St. in Dublin. The referred me to a book by local historian Ed O’Riordan – Lonely Little God’s Acre on Shanrahan cemetery which has now been requested through the Inter-Library Loan.
On a Tuesday evening, outside Clogheen in County Tipperary, I was smiling broadly once the carver’s name was spotted. The headstone was admired, and touched.
Earlier this week, a long day’s work after an early start finished in Cahir just after five and I decided to treat myself to a Supertramp evening – I took the Long Way Home , the road not previously travelled.
I have recently started putting my ‘To Visit’ locations on a Google Map so that it is easier to cross-check diversions and distractions when time may permit on a journey.
I recently learned of Fr. Nicholas Sheehy via Tipperary Studies on Twitter. He was hung drawn and quartered in Clonmel in 1766 and buried in Shanrahan Cemetery, outside Clogheen in Co. Tipperary where he is also remembered with a monument outside the church and in the name of the local GAA Club – An t-Athair Sithigh.
Fr. Sheehy’s grave is in a reasonably prominent position in the graveyard – a double grave adjacent to the old church, shared with Rev. Dr. James Glison.
It is interesting to note that the plaque was erected in 1898, the centenary year of the 1798 rebellion and 132 years after his death. The tomb conservation was in 2013. The final project of my Local History course is on remembrance and commemoration – the To Do list not contains questions:
As ever, some knowledge leads to more questions.
During the past day, I have seen images of the statue of Winston Churchill in London’s Parliament Square boarded up to protect it ahead of a planned protest.
It reminded me of a different statue in Co. Limerick.
A few weeks back, I spotted similar protection was offered to the statue of the Sacred Heart at Croom Hospital to avoid damage….
….. from building activities.
Can You Show Me 2 Metres? Cork Metres?
As part of the marketing campaign for the change from Imperial to Metric measurement systems, there was television advert with a message that went down in memory – Can You Show Me A Metre.
Among those of a certain vintage, it is still dropped into conversation on occasion.
Cork City Council have re-invented the slogan, but with a twist, availing of some shrinkflation.
This yellow sign is on a traffic barrier at junction of Tuckey Street and Grand Parade. The two metres is actually just over 1.2m
Is there such a thing as a Cork metre?
This piece of sculpture was in place for 10 years before I realised it existed – unfortunately the time I had to enjoy it was very limited.
In May 2016, Micko told of his encounter walking the dog one evening. Coming up the quays by Penrose House, and approaching the bridge, he heard someone talking but there was no one nearby. Some investigation revealed that the four stainless steel structures were responsible for the sound of voices – only two of them actually.
Today I spotted a retweet from the Crawford Art Gallery that reminded me of the chat, my subsequent visits to the Listening Posts, and my promise to self to write a short blog on art installations not just being for the unveiling ceremony and plaque unveiling – some art needs some maintenance, a little love and affection.
A few days after the chat with Micko, I went down to Penrose Quay. Two of the pieces were damaged and being used as litter receptacles. The other two were broadcasting lists relating to exports and passengers from the Port of Cork. I stopped and listened for a while – some nice chill out time. After this, I went a bit out of my way a few times to hear the messages – but then they were gone.
Dowcha Boy, White Vision,
“Few people can claim that they owe their very existence to a pigeon”
This is the opening line of story that I heard last November on Sunday Miscellany. Gail Seekamp tells the story of White Vision after her heroic experiences during World War II, 60 miles in 9 hours. She was renamed White Saviour.
The Dickin Medal is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. White Vision was one of the first three recipients in December 1943. Nine months later, Paddy was similarly honoured. I read of Paddy in Ireland’s Own. A plaque was erected in his honour at Carnlough, near Larne, and is on my To Visit list. It looks like there may be two plaques and a song - and another song, of sorts. In 2010, there was a flypast in commemoration.
This week I read of Cónal Creedon’s excellent book, Begotten Not Made, being selected for an Eric Hoffer Book Award in the U.S., and was reminded of Dowcha Boy whose exploits in World War I pre-dated the Dickin Medal. Feted on returning to Cork, the Legend of the Northside, a small but critical figure of the book, has not been forgotten by this reader.
Paddy lived until he was 11. White Saviour lived for 10 years after her rescue night. Based in Rialto in Dublin, IHU 15 67080 was ringed in 2015, which I think may also be year of birth. I hope that she is now competing in races for pigeons with disabilities. On Thursday, a ringed leg was spotted in the grounds of St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral.
Dowcha Boy survived being shot. White Vision survived the stormy night flight that her fellow pigeon did not. Maybe IHU 15 67080 is flying, and hopping, about quite contentedly having evaded the peregrine around the golden trumpets mentioned in a tweet this morning.
Orla Peach’s tweet and listening to The Unthanks earlier, was enough of a co-incidence about pigeons in one week to warrant this rambling blog.
For further distraction from Cónal Creedon, take a few minutes HERE
‘We are waves of the same sea,
We spotted this stencil art when up around.
Maybe the dogs are reclaiming the streets during this lockdown.
Tuesday or Thursday – or Both
I spotted this old advert this afternoon.
It is not my drink of choice, but I would dearly love an opportunity to make friends with Murphy.
Oh! For this lock-in to end………
It is not often that I get my religion in a Supermarket. I have never before spotted it in the frozen food section of a Centra.
A pizza made by the Fellows of God – and a reduced price on last Sunday.
From Old Kilcrumper Cemetery outside Fermoy.
I have seen many headstones with references to I.R.A., Old I.R.A. and Volunteers but I think I can only recall one with reference to Cumann na mBan.
I suspect there will be time spent checking photographs of other cemeteries as lockdown continues.
Blogs I Read & Links
Thought & Comment
For the Fainthearted
Bock The Robber
140 characters is usually enough
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
Buildings of Ireland
Irish War Memorials
The Standing Stone
Time Travel Ireland
Stair na hÉireann
Wide & Convenient Streets
The Irish Story
Our City, Our Town
West Cork History
Cork’s War of Independence
Cork Historical Records
Rebel Cork’s Fighting Story
40 Shades of Life in Cork