In Memory – Children’s Burial Grounds in the parish

B. Forde

Heritage society committee members Dom Dunleavy, Bina Devaney, John Tighe, Mary Dunleavy, Sylvester Cassidy, Fr. Tod Nolan P.P. Killererin; Eileen O'Connell and Bernadete Forde.
Photo: B. Connolly
Sylvester Cassidy sprinkling some clay that had been gathered from each unmarked children's burial ground in the oarish, at the base of the new memorial stone.
B. Connolly
Some onlookers who attended the ceremony.
B. Connolly

 

In 2012, Killererin Heritage Society was delighted to erect a Memorial Stone in Church grounds listing the names of unmarked Childrens’ Burial grounds in the parish, of which, to the best of our knowledge, there are seven.  The location of those graves are as follows:

1. Cloondahamper – (Cluain Dá Thiompar)

2. Cloonlusk – (Cluain Loischte)

3. Coolfowerbeg – (Cúil Fhobhair Bheag)

4. Graddoge – (An Ghreadóg),

5. Grange – (An Ghráinseach),

6. Knock – (An Cnoc),

7. Shantallow – (Sean Talamh)

Register to enrol name of your dead

The stone was purchased from Kelly Monuments in Tuam and was blessed by Fr. Tod Nolan P.P. after Sunday mass in June of that year. The Heritage Society also placed a register in the Church that day, allotting a page to each burial ground. Anyone, locally or who is visiting the parish, with a loved one buried in these graves, can enrol their names here, recording their burial for the first time. This was made available on the day and will remain available for this purpose. Just ask our local Parish Priest at the parochial house.

For some, this was a very emotional and deeply moving experience and one for which they were immensely grateful. Clay from each identified burial ground in the parish was collected and placed around it on the day by Sylvester Cassidy. Sylvester wrote the following poem for the occasion which appears at the beginning of the record book.

A Child’s Unmarked Grave, by Sylvester Cassidy

 A cold wind whispers –

 You are not forgotten.

Though you lie silent

In an unmarked grave

Angels still guard you.

Across the valley

A sharp church steeple

Pierces a setting Winter’s sun

And floods the sky a crimson red.

Significant.

Was not Your Blood

Also shed for them?

The sprinkling of water

Has such an awesome power.

What magic words

Between the lost and saved.

Here, there are no names

Unlike the distant graveyard

Consecrated.

More magic spells

And incantations.

Small rectangular mounds

Lie between contour lines.

Three hundred feet they read,

Yes – you are nearer Heaven

Than those alive or dead.

This page was added on 29/01/2015.

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