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The new graveyard in Templeglantine
© The new graveyard in Templeglantine

There are two graveyards in the parish of Templeglantine. A new graveyard was opened behind the church in Templeglantine in September 1983.

Before that, the only graveyard in the parish had been in the grounds of the old church in Templeglantine West. Many Tournafulla families had their burial plots here. Burials still take place in this graveyard. It is believed that the graveyard has been in use for around 800 years. The oldest headstone that we came across dated from 1866 and was in memory of Michael Gallwey RM.

Templeglantine West graveyard
© Templeglantine West graveyard

There are a number of interesting headstones here of a Celtic cross design. The four gaps between the circle of the arms of the Celtic cross are filled in with green glass. This form of headstone is the work of Mossy Wrenn who was a local man.

It is thought that there was a tomb to the de Lacy's in the grounds of the church but its exact location is unknown.

The largest headstone in the graveyard commemorates Liam Scully, an IRA captain during the War of Independence. Scully was killed in a raid on the barracks in Kilmallock on the night of May 28th 1920. Due to the wartime situation, he could not be buried in his home of Glencarr of Co. Kerry. Scully was waked locally and then, with only a few local volunteers to assist in the burial, Liam Scully was buried at midnight to avoid the attention of the Black and Tans. The headstone was erected a few years later.

Headstone in memory of Liam Scully
© Headstone in memory of Liam Scully

In the far corner of the graveyard lies a small headstone to the memory of Nellie Doody. People in West Limerick to this day regard Nellie, who was born in Tournafulla, as a holy woman. Many come to her grave seeking help or guidance in their lives. It has become a common practice to leave money under the pink flowerpot at her grave as an offering.

Headstone to Nellie Doody
© Headstone to Nellie Doody

Nellie spent her life visiting churches and Holy Wells. She would often invite friends or the schoolchildren on their way home to come with her to say the Rosary. In the neighbouring parish of Monagea, we came across a story about a man who gave Nellie a lift in his car. She told him that she was going into St Brigid's Well in Shangarry in Newcastlewest, and asked him to wait for her. After a while the driver became impatient and he attempted to start the car. However hard he tried, the car would not move. When Nellie returned to the car, the driver again tried to start the car and on the first turn of the key, the car roared into life.


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