Mass was celebrated in the cemetery attached to Clonagam church (Church of Ireland) on August 2nd this year, 2011, possibly the first since the infamous Penal Laws were introduced in Ireland in 1695. These anti-Catholic and anti-Dissenter laws lasted until Catholic Emancipation in 1829 (somewhat earlier for Dissenters).
Over the years, both Catholic and Church of Ireland burials have taken place in this interesting hillside cemetery with it's spectacular view over Curraghmore estate towards the Comeragh mountains. There are very many table tombs where members of the Beresford family, Curraghmore, have been interred, also headstones commemorating people connected with Portlaw's thriving cotton industry in the 1800s.
Of particular interest are Catholic headstones with iconography depicting Angels and the Passion of Christ from the 1700s and 1800s.
The event was a truly ecumenical occasion with people from both sides of the religious divide playing an active part. Congratulations to the Carrick-on-Suir lady who initially had the idea and suggested it to local Church of Ireland rector, Canon George Cliffe, of the Fiddown Union. Canon Cliffe then contacted local Catholic curate, Fr. Ned Hassett, who took it from there, with the assistance of various people.
Approximately one hundred and ten people attended.
Among the earliest arrivals were Fr. Eamonn O'Driscoll, OFM, from the Franciscan Friary, Waterford city, also local personality - Paddy (Doc) Morrissey.
XXXX XXXX. Johnny Crotty and Pat Walshe.
The fist arrivals to get seats:
L.to R.: Eoin Coffey, Eilen Coffey, Peggy Brophy and xxxx xxxx (?)
Local Piper, Paul Power, who played quite a few approporiate pieces of music.
Peggy Murphy & Mary Coe, enjoying the evening out . . .
. . . as was nonagenarian, Maurice Nugent, who never mises a function!
Fr. Hassett discusses the readings with Rev. Jenny Crowley of Stradbally.
Rev. Canon Cliffe converses with Lady Waterford.
The readings being discussed.
Peter Phelan, Assumpta Phelan and Cclr. Brendan Coffey.
The 'seat' they are using was a set of steps used when dismounting from horses in days gone by!
Daphne Power and XXX XXX had to make-do with the church steps!
Some people used the S.E. surrounding wall for seating.
Rev. Fr. Eamonn O'Driscoll, OFM, and Rev. Canon Cliffe conversing while awaiting the ceremony.
Three of those who did not have a seat, and just stood for the duration of the ceremony.
Rev. Fr. Ned preparing . . .
. . . while Rev. Canon Cliffe spoke about what led up to the evenings event.
Lord and Lady Waterford, plus Ann Walsh were some of the lucky few who managed to secure a seat.
Fr. Ned proceeds with celebrating the Mass.
The N.W. boundary wall also accommodated people.
A reading by Lord Waterford.
The evening was now darkening somewhat, but it still remained reasonably warm.
A reading by Rev. Jenny Crowley.
A reading by Mr. xxxx Coffey, son of the late Brendan Coffey (see image/post No. 104c.)
Mr. Philip Ware and his father-in-law - Lord Patrick Beresford.
Canon Cliffe reads the Gospel.
A reading by Ger Crotty.
Bearing the gifts were Daphne Power and xxx xxx.
The Mass contd.
There was plenty to talk about when all was over, and here Canon Cliffe tells one of his famous jokes to Angela Lyons and Maura Power.
Some people visited family graves or simply examined the many old headstones, including Canon Cliffe and xxxx xxxx (?)
Michael Walsh beside one of the fine Beresford memorials at front of church.
A final word from Fr. Ned.
Same from Fr. Eamonn, OFM.
The last to leave the grounds:
Canon Cliffe, Pat Walshe, Carol Cliffe and Philip Ware.
(last image in the series)
Some captions to follow, when names are known.
A double left-click on any image will show a larger version.