Clerihan clean up reveals forgotten graves

A community project led by Rathkeevin Macra has transformed the graveyard in Clerihan.

A community project led by Rathkeevin Macra has transformed the graveyard in Clerihan.

Last Saturday a group of enthusiastic workers took part in the clean up operation and did a “mighty job.”

Brian Melbourne, chairman of Rathkeevin Macra, told The Nationalist that when they arrived on Saturday morning they couldn’t even see the centre of the graveyard, but by the time they left that evening you could see clearly from corner to corner.

The work kicked off at 10.30am Saturday morning and over the course of the day about 25 people came along to lend a hand for the day, or for a shorter time. Members of Rathkeevin Macra were joined by members of other Macra clubs and by people from the local community.

One of Rathkeevin’s members had the idea for the clean up and they were delighted with the turnout.

The morning started by tackling overgrown hedging and ditches, then as more people arrived they began strimming the long grass and cutting briers. With many overgrown gravestones hidden in the weeds a lot of work had to be done by hand. The gravestones themselves were cleared of ivy.

According to Brian some of the graves were badly overgrown and had not been seen in 10 or 15 years!

“At the end of the day there was a huge transformation. You couldn’t see into the middle of the graveyard before but now you can see from corner to corner,” he said.

He’s got a lot of feedback from the community, including a text that praised the “might job” they had done. Brian expressed his thanks to everyone who helped and supported the project, especially PJ Carey plant hire who provided a digger for the day and Joe Bourke hedgecutting who also provided equipment, both of which were invaluable on the day.

The day ended with a barbecue at Ryan’s pub in Clerihan.