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New details on 18th century grave uncovered during shopping centre construction

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EXCLUSIVE

By Sean Moriarty

Some fascinating new information has come to light on the grave uncovered during the construction of the new Aldi store on Park Road.

INSCRIPTION: Researchers were able to decipher some but not all of the inscription

MAPS: An old map show the potential location of the original grave and and its current location

UNCOVERED: The grave at Aldi as it was found during construction

PRESS CUTTING: How the Killarney Advertiser reported the discovered grave

PROTECTED: Mayor Marie Moloney and Padraig Barry of Aldi at the protected grave outside a Killarney shopping centre

Last week, the Killarney Advertiser revealed that an ancient grave was discovered during the construction phase of the new store.

Aldi have preserved the grave, which is dated from the 1800s, and have placed a protection railing around it.

It is the company’s intention to place an information lectern on the railing so local people will be able to learn about the history of the unusual find.

Aldi employed the services of Cork-based archaeology firm John Cronin and Associates and the Killarney Advertiser was given exclusive access to the report.

The report was prepared by Peter Looney of John Cronin & Associates, with assistance from Ita O’Brien, Andras Hindli and John Cronin.

UNCOVERED

The stone was found in its current location, but within a disused barn, during the early site clearance works in November 2018 and the scene was preserved until Cronin and Associates examined it in greater detail.

“The slab was lying face down on the surface of the rubble layer and consists of a single block of limestone carved and shaped into an elongated six-sized shield to resemble a coffin lid measuring max 2.2m long and max 0.95m wide,” says the report. “Five lines of text are carved on the right-hand side of the cross.”

Expert archaeologists were able to decipher some but not all of the text. It reads:

SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF MARGARET SHEA
WHO DIED SPT_____________________
May She rest in peace Amen
ERECTED AS A MEMORIAL OF AFFECTION BY HER HUSBAND JEREMIAH SHEA.

“Shea is a frequent surname in County Kerry, and both Margaret and Jeremiah are also widespread. Without a date - which it is hoped may yet be deciphered -it may not be possible to identify exactly who the people named on the stone are,” says the report.

According to members of the Lyne family, the previous owners of the site, the grave slab belonged to their father and was in their possession until the turn of the century when its whereabouts became unknown.

Mr Tom Lyne – who used the barn adjacent to where the slab was uncovered before construction began - described growing up with the slab always within the courtyard of the family’s farmstead which would have extended into the current find spot.

“He indicated that the slab would have been standing against a boundary wall. It seems likely that slab was abandoned with the farmstead as it fell into disuse in the latter half of the 20th century, eventually falling over on its face (the position it was uncovered in) and its whereabouts becoming lost to the family. Thus, the grave-slab is most likely ex-situ having been brought to the area with the Lyne family around the 1900’s when the family farmstead was built adjacent to the southwest corner of the subject site,” adds the report.

It is believed the grave was originally located in a burial ground where the Lewis Road is now and that it may have been moved to its current location when that town centre road was being built.

RARE

“That area is now built up, mostly with residential properties. It can be assumed that many of the gravestones that were in the original Killarney Burial Ground were moved off-site and that may have been what happened to the subject stone, which then came into the possession of the Lyne family,” adds the report.

“Three local graveyards: Muckross Abbey, Killegy Lower and New Cemetery, Coolcorcoran, were visited in December 2020 to ascertain if there are any similar types of grave memorial. No stone of a similar shape was found in any of these three local graveyards.

“Only two examples were found to take a similar form: one of which was the same general shape as the example found at Ardshanavooly in Killarney. This stone, in the graveyard in Oola, County Limerick is also pointed at the top and bottom. This stone is very worn and only the initials ‘C B’ could be read. Therefore, despite the shared unusual shape, the stone at Oola cannot offer any clue towards the age of the Killarney stone.”

A second slab is at Abbeylands, County Waterford and is dated 1854.

“Once weather conditions allow, it is proposed to make a further attempt at deciphering the second line of the text inscription. This is the line that is likely to have a date inscribed and thereby add significantly to our knowledge of the history of the stone if it can be read. A rubbing was attempted in December 2020 but was unsuccessful as the surface of the stone was wet. When the stone is dry, it is likely that a rubbing will be more successful.”

FUTURE PLANS

Once all of the research work is complete a low-height lectern with an inclined tray will be placed adjacent to the presentation plinth to allow people to learn about the origins of the grave slab and reproduce the weathered inscription.

“The interpretative opportunity here is to encourage those interested to see if they can discern the inscription, and to reflect on the care and attention wrought on this memorial to a loved one and to consider how such an object found its way to this location,” concludes the report.

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Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry

This year’s Three Peaks Challenge, organised by Killarney Cycling Club will raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry. The June 15 event,  the only one day cycle event Down Syndrome Kerry […]

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This year’s Three Peaks Challenge, organised by Killarney Cycling Club will raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry.

The June 15 event,  the only one day cycle event Down Syndrome Kerry is associated with this year, promises to be a fabulous day of cycling and fun!.

The 100km route challenges the stronger cyclists and the 75km route gives cyclists the chance to become familiar with Moll’s Gap which is part of the Ring of Kerry route.
The cycle sets out from Killarney, heading out the Cork Road. The 75km route (one peak) turns right at Loo Bridge for Kilgarvan and onto Kenmare, while the 100km route, (three peaks) heads over the county bounds to Ballyvourney, onto The Top of Coom and then Kenmare. Both routes continue on over Moll’s Gap, passing through the picturesque Ladies’ View and back into Killarney, where all participants will be treated to a burger and drink at the finish line.

“We will guarantee plenty of laughs and refreshments along the way, there are two routes available; 100km or 75km, to meet all abilities, covering some of the most beautiful landscapes in Ireland. This is the perfect warm-up for anyone thinking of doing the Ring of Kerry cycle this year or anybody looking for a really well run sportive with great craic compulsory,” Chairperson of Killarney Cycling Club, Kevin Murphy.

All cyclists who register online will be entered into a raffle for some great spot prizes kindly donated by our sponsors, winners collecting their prize at the finish line.

Down Syndrome Kerry’s goal is to help people with down syndrome to make their own futures as bright and independent as possible by providing them with education, support and friendship every step of the way.
Funds raised from this cycle will help Down Syndrome to continue to provide vital services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and job coaching to their members.
As Down Syndrome Kerry do not receive any government funding, they are totally dependent on your support to continue to make these services available to those who need them.
You can register for the cycle which is €40 for Cycling Ireland members, €20 for accompanied under 16’s on event master:- https://eventmaster.ie/event/dW04CnGSwV

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BAR 1661 is teaming up with Pig’s Lane for a night of cocktail mastery

BAR 1661, the winners of Ireland’s Bar of the Year 2022, are taking up temporary residency in Killarney’s first underground hotspot, Pig’s Lane for one night only on May 21. […]

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BAR 1661, the winners of Ireland’s Bar of the Year 2022, are taking up temporary residency in Killarney’s first underground hotspot, Pig’s Lane for one night only on May 21.

The dynamic team at Dublin’s BAR 1661, who have recently taken their talents to venues in Sweden, London, and the famous Dead Rabbit Bar in New York, are now hitting the road to Killarney for an epic takeover event.

Staunchly Irish and fiercely independent, BAR 1661 have two goals in mind; to introduce the world to Poitín and lift Irish cocktail culture to fresh heights.
Headed up by their founder Dave Mulligan, the Dublin team will transform Pig’s Lane on College Street for one night only. Since opening just a few months ago, Pig’s Lane has been raising the bar in Kerry with its cocktails, whiskey and wine offering. Kicking off at 6pm, experience a curated selection of Poitín-infused cocktails, featuring a bespoke rendition of BAR 1661’s drinks menu.

The crew will also serve up their unique take on the classic Irish Coffee with their Belfast Coffee, steeped with cold brew coffee, top-quality Irish Poitín, and rich demerara syrup. Guests will be able to chat with the team, get some insider knowledge on how to elevate their own cocktail-making skills, as well as learn insider tips on how to blend flavours to satisfy their own palette.

Two-time World Championship Mixologist and Drinks Development Manager for the O’Donoghue Ring Collection and Pig’s Lane, Ariel Sanecki said of the upcoming takeover: 

“We are very excited to welcome one of Ireland’s leading bars, BAR 1661, for an exclusive collaboration with us here at Pig’s Lane. This takeover is a great opportunity for people to meet with innovative mixologists who will be crafting bespoke creations right in front of them! We look forward to welcoming guests on the night, to what promises to be an epic event, featuring premium drink producers and unforgettable flavours.”

Before the takeover starts, drinks aficionados can join Dave for an intimate Poitín Masterclass. Attendees are invited to explore the diverse landscape of Poitín, accompanied by fascinating insights into its vibrant history and contemporary revival.

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