Blessing of the Paupers Graveyard this Friday
THE annual blessing of the Paupers Graveyard in Coolcotts will take place next Friday, July 18, at 7.30 p.m., to remember the forgotten poor buried there between 1842 and 1939.
The Wexford Memorial Trust says that Bishop Denis Brennan and Father James Cullen will be in attendance.
Trust secretary Helen Corish-Wylde said the occasion would keep the awareness of the historical graveyard, alive in the community.
'The graveyard lies opposite the Chase Housing Estate in Coolcotts and many people do not even know it is there, but it is open during the day for anyone to visit,' she said.
Helen pointed out that unlike most graveyards, this one does not have many headstones and instead is dotted with trees and grass covered mounds of earth.
One original headstone does remain, which dates from 1904, and is dedicated to 12-year-old John Brien, who was born and died in the workhouse.
Helen said the Trust wasworking hard to tidy up the graveyard, with enormous help from FAB men's group, the Tidy Towns committee, Beechdale Nurseries and Wexford County Council.
'Padge Reck, Ray Nolan and others initiated the graveyard project by placing a Memorial in the old cemetery in the 1990s as a mark of respect for the hundreds of unknown buried there,' she said.
The history of the graveyard, is outlined in a book written by the FAB Centre women's group, the Celtic Ladies. The book is called 'The Forgotten Ones: From the Workhouse to Grave'.