HERITAGE

Faughart Graveyard is ‘best kept secret’ in Louth

The funding issue was discussed at last week's Dundalk Municipal District meeting

Tia Clarke

Reporter:

Tia Clarke

Email:

tia.clarke@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Faughart Graveyard is ‘best kept secret’

Faughart Graveyard was discussed at the meeting.

The Office of Public Works has been asked to take over the old Faughart graveyard by Louth County Council.

At last Tuesday’s municipal meeting councillors agreed that the OPW would be asked to take over the graveyard, which is located on the hill of Faughart, immediately as Louth County Council does not currently have the funding to maintain the site.

Councillors agreed that the graveyard had gone into disrepair over recent years and that it was a “very much neglected area”.

Cllr. Mark Dearey noted that the 700th anniversary of the burial of Edward Bruce at Faughart graveyard was coming up this October.

Cllr. Dearey said: “We’ve previously had a heritage analysis carried out by Louth County Council heritage officer, Brendan Mc Sherry in 2015. All of the actions are do-able and achieveable.”

The Cllr. added: “Faughart graveyard comes up time and time again at tourism conferences.”

Dearey suggested that Louth County Council needed to put the case to the Office of Public Works to take the site over and “lather it on thick”.

The Green Party Cllr. said that there were missed tourism opportunities at the historical site.

“The tourism potential alone from Scotish people coming off the Ferry at Larne would be substantial,” he said adding, “It’s an untold story.”

Supporting the motion, Councillor Emma Coffey, who chaired the meeting, agreed that the graveyard was “the best-kept secret in the area”.

Cllr. Maeve Yore also agreed that Faughart Graveyard was a place of great historical interest and that it has been a missed opportunity in terms of tourism for Co Louth.

Cllr. Yore said she was “hopeful” that the Office of Public Works could takeover the maintenance of the local historical site and help to promote it so that it could reach it's full tourism potential.

It was also agreed at the meeting that Heritage Officer, Brendan McSherry’s report would be included when the Muncipal District’s letter is sent out to the Department.

The 2015 study, which was commissioned by Louth County Council, suggested a number of improvements for the Faughart burial site which included the rebuilding of the old church, the cleaning and tidying of graves and the erection of an interpretative feature which would inform visitors of the history of the site.

The ownership of the historical graveyard remains an issue - no one is sure who actually owns the land.