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Friday, May 27, 2011


On noticing the gates to Clonagam (aka Clonegam) cemetery open during a recent walk in the area, I decided to investigate what might be going on there, as the both the cemetery and this ancient church (Church of Ireland/Protestant) are closed more-or-less permanently except for as little as one day per year approx.  To my pleasant surprise, members of a monumental sculpturing  firm were sandblasting a headstone there and adding a new inscription. This gentleman, in this hooded outfit with visor, with many cables/tubes leading from him,  looked more like one in a radioactive zone!
I was quite familiar with the headstone in  question, as  it stands out clearly among the many other interesting headstones in the cemetery, which has stones  with interesting inscriptions and iconography going back to the 1700s, many of which I have photographed over a period of time, and will eventually put online.   All the inscriptions on this stone, which date back to the 1800s, are entirely in Irish/Gaelic, and relate to deceased members of the local Coffey  family and predecessors of their’s – the de Paors. The de Paor name has evolved over the centuries from the original Norman – de la Poer (1200s), which eventually has evolved at the present time  to Power, and frequently to Powers in the USA.

An Scríbhinn núa air an gCloch Chínn/the new Headstone Inscription:
I ndil chuimhne ar Bhreandán Seosamh Ó Cobhthaigh
as Port Cládhach
a d’éag ar an 15ú lá d Bhealtaine 2010, In aois 79 bliain.
Beannacht Dé lena anam caoin.
In Loving Memory of Brendan Joseph Ó Coffey, Portlaw.
who died 15th May 2010, aged 79 years.
The Blessing of God on his gentle soul.

Mr Ray O'Keeffe, the now-revealed gentleman without his 'alien-looking' gear!
The O'Keeffe monumental works has been operating in Waterford City for many generations.

The late Brendan J. Ó Coffey, whom I photographed some years ago at a function in the Community Hall, Portlaw.
Brendan, whom I knew only for a short few years before his death, was an intellectual of immense wisdom, a great lover of his country, it's history, and especially it's native language.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh sé!


During the past twelve months or longer, I have (with kind permission of my friend, the Rector - Revd. Canon George Cliffe), photographed the entire interior of  Clonagam church, with it's many interesting memorials to the dead, also almost every panel of stained glass in it's windows.
I am currently working on these and researching their history and will eventually put them on this Blog!
Be patient! It takes a lot of time!

During the past year, or longer, I have, with kind permission of the Rector - Rev. George Canon Cliffe, photographe the entire interior of Clonagam church, it's many memorials to the dead, and every panel of stained glass in it's windows. I have been working on these for quite some time and researching their history.  Eventually I will put them on this Blog!

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