Ireland: Honouring the Dead

Autumnal Irish graveyard.

The Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead in Ireland

In the early 1900’s a group of scholars, local historians, etc. (184 of them in 1907) called themselves the ‘Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead in Ireland’. They went graveyard to graveyard, throughout all the counties of Ireland, and reported back the inscriptions they recorded, which were then published in a journal twice yearly.

The goals of this association were as follows (as stated in their 1908 journal):

I. To endeavor to arouse the attention of the Clergy and Laity to the present generally very disgraceful state of the burial-grounds in Ireland, and to enlist sympathy and active aid in getting them into better order, and enclosed, where they require it: to strive to have them preserved and protected, and treated with the respect and veneration due to them.

II. To secure a record of ALL existing tombs and monuments of any interest–by having their inscriptions carefully and accurately copied, and to obtain information, as far as possible, regarding those that have been removed or destroyed.

III. To watch carefully works carried on in, and about, churches &c., so as to prevent injury to monuments and tombstones.

IV. To repair tombs of National Interest where the present representatives of the deceased are not in position to do so, and when the funds admit of it, as has been done in the case of Richard Millikin’s tombstone, at Douglas County Cork (The author of the Groves of Blarney) and several other tombs.

V. To print a half-yearly journal, with illustrations and copies of inscriptions, and also such other matter connected with the Ancient Memorials of the dead in this country as may be thought desireable.

VI. The printing of extracts of interest from chapter-books, parochial and other registers and records, is thought very desireable; and the Clergy are earnestly requested to furnish them, as well as any other information they can give connected with their churches and parishes, and used and disused burial grounds.

VII. Accounts of ancient fonts, bells, church plate, and memorial glass, are also requested, with sketches, photographs or rubbings; and copies of inscriptions and “Hall-marks” thereon.


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