Wednesday 16 October 2019

Help us give historic cemetery some TLC

John Tarrant

Spring is in the air in Dromtariffe, where a new cemetery committee is undertaking a clean up of resting places in the parish.

Spokesperson Charlie Drake is delighted with the response so far and is encouraging more to come along on a Saturday morning.

"It's to do with cleaning up the cemeteries in the parish, which have become completely overgrown, especially the old Dromtarriffe Cemetery," said Charlie.

"We intend to continue for the next few Saturdays, as there is quite a bit of work to do in getting them up to scratch and from there on would only necessitate a few hours work two or three times a year.

"Dromtarriffe Old Cemetery is the final resting place of many generations of Dromtarriffe people and, indeed, from all parts of Duhallow as it is probably one of the oldest in the barony, dating back to somewhere in the 1500's," Charlie pointed out.

According to history, on the 27th of July 1651, the day after the battle of Knockbrack. The old church in the centre of the Old Cemetery was burnt to the ground by one of Cromwellian Lord Broghill's officers, known as butcher Maxwill. Approximately 400 persons perished in the fire.

"Traditionally, Dromtarriffe Old Cemetery was one of the best kept cemeteries in the county because every year, on the sixth of May, there would be hundreds of people from all over the county and beyond coming to the Dromtarriffe Blessed Well to pay their rounds, which is situated in the adjoining field, and for weeks before people would be coming to the cemetery to tidy up the graves of their loved ones", said Charlie.

Unfortunately, similar to old traditions, some interest has waned in the past few decades while families may have become extinct or moved away from the parish.

"There are a lot of graves still very well looked after, just the ones with no one left behind to do anything with the graves [need tending] so that is why we have formed a committee to keep up the tradition of a well looked after cemetery in the parish", said Charlie.

Anyone wishing to help in anyway can contact 086-8403914 or 029-78017.