My day of abbeys, monasteries and churches continues to be one of surprises. We stayed within an eight-to-ten mile radius of the Ardfinnan area; I think Louise could have continued on with these historical ‘nuggets.’ I continued to be amazed at the number of historical sites within the area.
Shanrahan Cemetery was our last stop of the day was located a couple miles west of Clogheen in County Tipperary. As we left the car, my eyes were drawn immediately to the gravestones. Louise has taught me well today and I began to be able to identify some of the symbols.
At the center of the cemetery stands a medieval parish church … and yes, it is in ruin. She also pointed out the two Sheela na Gigs that were recently discovered on the high towers. The site is also known for housing the grave of Father Sheehy, a local Clogheen priest in the mid-1700’s. He became known due to his outspoken nature regarding the Penal Laws. Through the Ascendancy Rule (1691-1778), a number of laws were created to control or restrict religious, political and economic activities. These laws were specifically aimed at the Catholic population. Father Sheehy was subsequently convicted of treason, which lead to his hanging. It didn’t stop there, they also ‘drawn and quartered’ his corpse.
It was also the first time that I saw a door or hatch on the side of a raised tomb. People remove soil from the grave. It is believed that this soil is holy and can have healing effects. For more information on this site and the grave, please take a look at Louise’s blog.
Before long, the sun was beginning to set, the evening’s storm cloud’s were rolling in. Best of all, I had a bit more history about the surrounding area.
Location via Google Maps:
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