On a sunny January day I decided to go for a drive around the south Waterford area and I came across this old graveyard on my travels. Located in the gaeltacht area south of Dungarvan, it’s not easy to find but there are a couple of high crosses visible from the road. As I entered through the broken iron entrance gate it didn’t bode well that I was immediately attacked by the briars, they were like tentacles reaching out and grabbing onto me, everywhere I turned I was stuck in one, it was time to tuck the jeans into the wellies! Unsure of which way to walk, I followed what seemed to be a used pathway through the grass & briars and this led to a celtic cross headstone, dedicated to Denis Joseph O’Connor, born in Kerry in 1922 , died in 1990. Most likely this was the last person to have been buried in this graveyard, I certainly couldn’t see any with a later date. Throughout the rest of the graveyard, the headstones were almost completely taken over by the bushes and briars and long grass. In the centre of the site the remains of an old church can be made out from a couple of remaining collapsed walls.
Despite the poor condition of most of this graveyard, there is one plot which contained a a couple of celtic crosses and flat stones, these were mostly legible and were saved from the overgrowth due to a metal surround and being cemented in. The one of most interest is the headstone dedicated to Rev Walter Curran. I thought it would be easy to get some information about the Reverend online given that he was clergy but I couldn’t find any birth or death records for him. It just goes to show how bad the genealogy records are in Ireland. However I did come across him listed under Dunmore, in the 1856 SlatersDirectory under ‘Nobility, Gentry and Clergy’ where he is listed as being from Whitstown which I think is near Portlaw but I could be wrong.
Having searched for ages trying to find out some more information about the Reverend, I almost gave up until I found a really interesting blog from Martin Coffey, and he has an interesting story about the Reverend and when he was being buried. You can read about it and other stories of the locality here http://oldparish.blogspot.ie/2008/02/fork-lore-has-it-that-hackettstown.html
I came across a few photos of the graveyard from around 2008 where it didn’t seem to be as overgrown as it is now, it’s such a pity it has deteriorated so much in such a short time…though it’s probably a sign of the times…a shortage of funds and a shortage of interest from the younger generations.
Until the next visit somewhere in Ireland, take care 🙂