Digital Mapping of Old Graveyard

Recording of graves in old graveyard, Killererin

Bernadette Forde

Mapboard to left of main gate of cemetery
Photo: Bernadette Fordee
Co. Council workers who put up the sign
Photo: Bernadette Forde

Mapboard outside the graveyard

We are delighted to report that our mapboard is finally up located adjacent to the entrance at the main gates of the old cemetery. It has been a long road with many twists and turns and setbacks along the way.

Where it all began

It all started way back in 1998 we believe, when a Community Employment scheme in Abbeyknockmoy researched several graveyards in the area and the old cemetery in Killererin was one of them. A booklet was printed, which we were privileged to see as very few survive but nothing more. We made enquiries with Galway Co. Council and locally but to no avail.

Local Community Employment scheme

Then around the time when we were researching our parish history, our own local community employment scheme in Killererin carried out some recording of this cemetery. The Heritage Society employed two people from an RSS (Rural Social Scheme) to record the older part of the graveyard. Unfortunately, these records too could not to be found.

Start again

The decision was then made by our committee, that we should start again and Eileen O’Connell and myself agreed to take on the task and complete it once and for all. We spent many days and weeks in the graveyard through all kinds of weather and manually took photos and recorded what needed to be recorded. This went on for about three years and I’m sure that at every committee meeting when progress was slow, our members were getting frustrated but that was the nature of the work. Trying to decipher inscriptions on old headstones is not easy.

New approach from Heritage Officer

However, when we were nearing the end of this work, we were approached by Marie Mannion, Heritage Officer with Galway Co. Council, to know if we would get involved with a new initiative for graveyards being spearheaded by them. It would be costly but it would mean that when we were finished, our diaspora could access their records from anywhere on the planet and so we decided to abandon what we had been doing and go ahead with this new project. It would also mean that our graveyard would be uploaded to the Galway Co. Council website, making it even more accessible. It would all be worth it in the end!!

Digital recording

The digital recording involved firstly, getting a drone survey done which would be used to input the records on. Subsequently, we and other members of the community Ollie Forde and Sheila Stone underwent training and on a dark wet day in November work began. This took ten days and the sacristy in the church became our safe haven for lunch etc and protection from the elements. Then followed weeks of inputting the records onto the Co. Council system. However the work is now complete and we want to thank the community for their help and support, Galway Co. Council, Galway Rural Development who helped us in no small way with funding and Bernie Doherty community Archaeologist for Galway Co. Council along with David Nolan for his training.

We are beyond delighted and look forward to going live before too long on the County Council website.

We are in the process of putting up a 2nd Board listing the names of people who are known to be buried in the cemetery but location is unknown as they are not listed on any headstone. If you have any information regarding people buried in this cemetery or people whose names have been left off of headstones, please email us at or contact Bernadette at +353+87 7918889 or Eileen at +353+876320183.

We have also set up a GoFundMe page as the cost was in the region of €7,000. We thank the community and some of our diaspora who have been very supportive but still would appreciate any donation you could give us. Thank you in advance. The link to our GoFundMe page is :

Link to Digital Mapping of Killererin Old Graveyard

Link to GoFundMe pag

Link to video:Digitising Galway’sgraveyards including Killererin


This page was added on 12/05/2023.

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