To you abroad and far from home, who may not be always
up-to-date with local happenings, with much regret we bring you the news of the
recent demise of Lord Waterford, as he was usually known. John Hubert de la Poer Beresford, 8th Marquis of Waterford, passed
away on February 11th last and was laid to rest among his ancestors and relatives in Clonagam cemetery on
Saturday, February 14th, following a memorable ecumenical service in
Chief celebrant at the service was Canon George Cliffe, recently-retired rector of the Fiddown Union
of Churches. Canon Cliffe was assisted by the newly-appointed, part-time priest
in charge – Revd. Mellissa Jeffers, and down especially from Athy, Co. Kildare,
came the now-retired Dean of Cashel, Revd. Philip John Knowles, who played the
organ during the service. Revd. Philip has made many visits to Portlaw in
recent years, coming especially to play the organ in Holy Trinity church. There being no electricity, ever, in this church at Clonagam, a generator was in
use for the occasion to power the instrument.
Participating also at the service, and representing the R.C.
community, were Rev. Fr. Richard O’Halloran, C.C., Portlaw; Very Rev. Fr. Ned Hassett, Parish Priest of
Abbeyside, Ballinroad and Garranbane; Very
Rev. Fr. Pat Geer, P.P., Ballyneale, also a representative from the Rosminian
community at Glencomeragh House, Carrick-on-Suir.
The content of the service included that popular excerpt
from the Old Testament – Ecclesiastes – “For everything there is a season . . .
“, read by Camilla Beresford; a tribute
to the late Marquis by John Perceval Maxwell; an excerpt from Psalm 118 – “The
Lord is my strength and my song . . . “, read by Charlie Beresford; a New Testament reading, from John Chapter
14, by Revd. Mellissa Jeffers; Hymns 366 – “Praise my soul, the King of Heaven”
and Hymn 659 – “Onward Christian soldiers”.
Particularly touching was a poem read by
Carolina Beresford, which ran as follows:
Remembrance is a golden chain
Death tries to break,
But all in vain.
To have, to love, and then to part
Is the greatest sorrow of one’s heart.
The years may wipe out many things
But some they wipe out never.
Like memories of those happy times
When we were all together.
The service concluded
with the entire congregation reciting that well-known Gaelic blessing –
“May the road rise up to meet you” etc.
'Laid to rest among his ancestors and other relatives' directly in front of the church.
(To ensure the grass is kept low, sheep are allowed into the cemetery once or twice a year)
Because of the very large
attendance, many had to remain outside the building for the entire service.
"The End of an Era!". . . remarked a bystander near me, as the burial concluded.
Further text to follow.
Image No. 854 shows Lord Waterford outside Clonagam church in June 2008, on the occasion of the visit of the Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory, Revd. Michael Burrows.