Saturday 25 May 2019

Kilbrin restores Lackeel Cemetery

Canon Eithne Lynch, Mallow and Fr Michael Leader
Canon Eithne Lynch, Mallow and Fr Michael Leader
Seamus Fleming, Cullen Pipe Band performed at the Lackeel Church of Ireland Cemetery Restoration in Kilbrin. All pictures by John Tarrant
Pictured at the Lackeel Cemetery restoration opening were Dermot Murphy, Don Murphy, Noel Lenihan, Niall O’Sullivan, Maura Walsh (IRD Duhallow); Rosemary Cussen; Oliver Ryan Purcell; Desmond Sharp Bolster; Canon Eithne Lynch; Cllr. John Paul O’Shea; Annmarie Bourke; John Sheahan and Tom O’Riordan. Picture John Tarrant

John Tarrant

An oasis of peace and tranquility surrounds Lackeel Cemetery near Kilbrin and its restoration was formally acknowledged at a dignified ceremony last Saturday.

Kilbrin Cemetery Committee took the project on board as, for a long number of years, the former Church of Ireland church and graveyard was completely overgrown and inaccessible to the public.

However, following a year of painstaking restoration work, the site is now open for local people and tourists to visit. The church building was completed in 1774 and from 1788 it served the communities of Kilbrin and Liscarroll, sited on a thoroughfare linking Limerick to Tralee.

Comprising of a plain and rectangular building with a spire, there was seating for a congregation of 130 with a graveyard adjoining the church. For close on 150 years, Lackeel served its community but falling numbers saw it decommissioned in the 1930s and the church was subsequently felled.

All through the past year, Kilbrin volunteers undertook a series of tasks at Lackeel to restore a peaceful location.

"Some of the work was painstaking, involving slashers and strimmers in addition to some machinery. This work would not have been possible without the help of many people and we're delighted to have completed the project", said spokesperson Tom O'Riordan.

Work at the project began with erecting gates and pillars on the entrance and the site itself has been very much cleared, the gates are over 100 years old and restored to their original state.

Kilbrin organisers acknowledged the support of the Church of Ireland and IRD Duhallow on helping to complete the work at Lackeel Cemetery. IRD Duhallow CEO Maire Walsh commended all involved in the project.

"Once again it been an amazing effort, a small community displaying community spirit, the smaller the community the stronger the work ethic and that's evident here in Lackeel", she said.

Speakers at the event included Canon Eithne Lynch, Fr Michael Leader, Rosemary Cussen, Niall O'Sullivan, Oliver Ryan Purcell and Desmond Sharp Bolster.