A project undertaken to reclaim / transform the old late 13th century St. Mary’s graveyard, begun last November (2014) here in Thurles, is progressing very satisfactory. The former part dump and weed infested “Gods Acre” is now 50% complete thanks to Tús operatives, Thurles Municipal District Council and the many local people who have undertaken to support this project.
With three car trailer loads of broken dishes, plastic and glass bottles, bicycle and electrical parts etc now removed, some interesting pieces of old Thurles history were also uncovered. These located surface artefacts included two badly decomposed 19th and 20th century hand guns, some interesting old bottles, a few 19th and 20th century coins and a hand-made, open fire, wire, fish griddle (Great Famine Period); this latter now fully restored by the ingenuity of Littleton resident Mr Michael Bannon.
The part proceeds of a local crime were also uncovered; hidden under a large stone, taking on the form of a 14 year old stolen purse, containing various credit type cards. (In all cases the appropriate authorities were notified.)
Click HERE to view progress to date in High Definition.
Thurles – Undertaking A Visitor Attraction Project For Themselves
Of course the spring crop of Cherry blossom, Blue Bells, Three Cornered Leeks, Snowdrops and Lent Lilies have all departed for yet another year. So too now fading are the summer crop of Solomon Seal, Lily of the Valley, Primroses, Yellow Loosestrife and Lungworth. However the Common Poppy, Chinese Black Mondo Grass, White Foxgloves, Fleece Flower, Buddleia Bushes, Elephant Ears, African daisy, Marigolds and Feverfew all continue to grant late summer /autumn colour to this most historic of Tipperary graveyards.
The first gravelled footpath, one of four planned to guide visitors around this historic oasis, is also in place, joining the existing Thurles Memorial Garden.
To date this project has cost a minuscule €800.00 in financial funding for the massive work undertaken and a huge ‘Thank You’ must now go to all the volunteer supporters / advisor’s to this project and in particular to the Tús operatives and Thurles Municipal District Council (Administrator Michael Ryan). A ‘Thank You’ also to Aileen O’Sullivan and family (U.S.A.) who handsomely contributed to the purchase of garden furniture, yet to be installed later this year in this area, (More details will appear regarding this installation later).
Of course if there are any Politicians out there who feel that funding should /can be made available to support / progress this ongoing project more speedily, perhaps they could let us know.
How can you the people of this community further assist in this new project?
(1) Do you have any “Overcrowded Perennials” in your garden drastically in need of thinning? Remember overcrowded perennials often have fewer and smaller flowers than their well-spaced and divided counterparts.
(2) Do you have relatives buried in St Mary’s Graveyard? Perhaps, finance permitting of course, you would like to take this opportunity to have the headstone cleaned, lettering repainted or a grave kerb added, replaced or repaired. Unable to undertake this work yourself, then talk to James Slattery, Tel 0504 – 22219, who specialises in dealing with ancient limestone headstones.
(3) Are you feeling generous? Why not make a small financial contribution to this worthwhile Thurles history / environmental conservation project. Your donation and full details of how your money was spent will be publicly acknowledged here on Thurles.Info in future regular news updates.
Note: Extreme care has been taken to ensure that this historic burial ground is respected in full, firstly, with regards to the rights of the living family members of those deceased, and secondly, in regard to the rules already put in place by the Heritage Council with regard to the Guidance for the Care, Conservation and Recording of Historic Graveyards.