Members of the Kilnaughtin Graveyard Committee in Tarbert have this week thanked everyone that came out in support of their first event since lockdown.
It was a weekend-long event which brought huge numbers to the Kilnaughtin Church and Graveyard as Bishop of Kerry Ray Browne marked the start of the four-day celebrations with Mass on the Friday evening.
The event was billed as a ‘community weekend’ and one which not only helped the public to explore Tarbert’s ancient and medieval past but one which also raised a substantial amount of money – €2,155 to be exact – at the Mass which opened the weekend.
One of the highlights of the weekend was, undoubtedly, the blessing of the committee’s new Altar shelter, as well as the COVID Remembrance Garden and all of the graves.
Kilnaughtin Church and Graveyard is one of the most important ecclesiastic sites in the county and is firmly at the heart of local life in Tarbert today. This is hanks to a special project that saw the construction of an Altar shelter and the creation of a new website, www.kilnaughtin.ie.
This new Altar shelter was a community project completed on time, within budget and in line with planning requirements.
It has involved professional planning and ongoing oversight; skilled labour; craftsmanship; financial resources by way of voluntary donations; an immense level of dedicated time given freely by a host of volunteers; and an incalculable level of goodwill from the local community.
The Sunday-evening celebrations in St Mary’s Church brought together the musical talents of harpist Áine Enright; sisters Emma and Grace Heffernan; Trina B Kennedy and Mikey Fealey, with their traditional music, song and dance; the Yershova sisters from Ukraine, performing a number of classical pieces; and local favourite David O’Gorman (aka Kerry Dave) finished off the evening with some all-time classics.
Speaking to The Kerryman this week about the community weekend and how it went was committee member Paddy Creedon.
“It went great,” he said. “We had the weather and everything in our favour.
“We’re delighted with how the whole project has gone as well as the weekend itself, too. We had historical walks, which went down really well; we had ecological walks too on the Sunday; and then we had a lovely concert on the Sunday night, which was absolutely stunning [and] where we had the Yershova sisters – who are living here in Tarbert and going to school here – perform, and they are on a different level,” he said.
Paddy said that he and the rest of the committee would also like to thank Dr Declan Downey and Padraig Ó Concubhair for the historical tour around Kilnaughtin and Lislaughtin Abbey on the Saturday and, in addition to this, he said that they gratefully acknowledge the walk and talk by Padraic Creedon on the ecology along the island road on the Sunday.
Monday brought the weekend events to close, with the memorial walk from the Plaza to Mullally’s Berth led by Donal O’Connor. Finally, everyone in the committee – Patsy O’Connell, Bríd Histon, Kitty McElligott, Patsy O’Shea, David O’Gorman and Paddy Creedon – said that they wish to extend a sincere thank you to everyone for their support over the few days.