Glebe Graveyard, also known as Killaconenagh or Cill Achadh an Eanaigh

Travelling west, about a kilometre outside of Castletownbere, there is a small road on the right (across from the football pitch) with a sign that reads,” Cill Achadh an Eanaigh, Glebe Graveyard.” This by way meanders a couple of hundred years into the past until it reaches the Glebe Cemetery. Some of the inhabitants of this little graveyard have been interred there since the 1700’s.

Next door to the cemetery is the old rectory which is privately owned. It was once home to the remarkable Standish O’Grady. The small gate to the cemetery  is what you seek; going through the ivy clad entrance truly is like going back in time.

The place is cool, peaceful, and overgrown in places with trailing ivy and winding creepers. Some of the grave markers are so old they are little more than plain stones resting their worn heads on the green grass.

Some of the markers here are clustered together, leaning towards each other as if sharing secrets or stories.

There are so many names: Murphy, O’Sullivan, Burchill, Sullivan, Mealy, Fitzgerald, Sheehan…so many more.  Many of the surnames are those of local families who continue to live and thrive in Castletownbere as they have for generations before them, and hopefully with blessings well into the future.

Sadly there are names here that have been lost to time. The most poignant being those who were taken by the Great Famine. Just beyond the overgrown church ruins, on the north-west wall of the cemetery is a mass grave for famine victims. It’s heartbreaking to think of countless number of people who lived and loved on this beautiful peninsula, only to be buried anonymously due to overwhelming tragedy.

(the above picture is what is left of the little church on the property)

The Glebe Graveyard is a lovely, peaceful little place and well worth the visit, especially if you are seeking a connection to your roots when you come to visit Beara. Do take a moment to pause at the mass grave to let those buried there know they may have died anonymously, but have not been forgotten.

Suaimneas siorrai da n-anam.  May their souls have everlasting peace.

About Susanne Iles

Contemporary symbolist artist, writer,curator,and geek/nerd girl . Interested in photography, mythology, alchemy,ancient history,science,gaming and magic.
This entry was posted in Beara Peninsula, Castletown Berehaven, Castletownbere, Cemetary, Church, County Cork, Famine, Glebe, Graveyard, Historical Site, Ireland, Killaconenagh, Mass Grave, Ring of Beara, Tomb and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Glebe Graveyard, also known as Killaconenagh or Cill Achadh an Eanaigh

  1. Donal O'Siodhachain says:

    Hi Susanne, beautifull piece on the graveyard as listed by Bill on Beara Roots. In fact you have inspired me to start doing the same for my own Sliabh Luachra area sometime this year. I will be 63 this year and in the last two months I have lost over a dozen friends, most of them artistic and such things do bring the reality home that personal life and time is finite.

    Any progress on your own book ? That offer of assistance still stands,
    Best regards, Donal.

  2. nina says:

    Hi Susan,
    I lived in CTB as a child…sometimes we stopped at the graveyard as kids….there were so many stories we could tell.
    Last night I dreamed of it and I had to search the net for pictures.
    Thank you!

  3. What is so sad about these mass graves and the destruction of the Catholic churches is that such mass starvation was a defacto policy of much of the Irish Ascendancy; namely, the Protestants and their creators, the foreign British government. No Protestants are buried, nameless, in the mass grave. The so-called Potato Famines were genocides; there was plenty of food in the land, but not for Catholics; Protestant “Masters” controlled the food supply, the land, the government, so the Catholics were left too starve, enmasse, while those in the Great Houses fretted, drank, and gambled. Until the Irish themselves start to acknowledge this awful truth, these quaint mass graves will cry out for justice.

  4. Marie Tierney Smith says:

    It was a genocide of the Irish people. A research of the Penal Laws on the books for over l00 years is the proof that if you persisted to keep your Catholic faith, you were doomed, and the Great Hunger was the result of the implementation of these laws. Why has the National Museum in Dublin ignored this horrific phase of Irish history – are they still subservient to the downsized British Empire?

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