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16/09/2021

Memorial service to be held at Dundalk Famine graveyard this Sunday

Memorial service to be held at Dundalk Famine graveyard this Sunday

Dundalk Famine Graveyard. Image: Paul Gilgunn Photography

Dundalk Famine Graveyard service of remembrance will take place this Sunday,  8th of August at 5pm at the famine graveyard located at Killally.

Dundalk Famine Graveyard, located at A91E76N, has become one of the most important local historical sites since it was restored by a group of dedicated volunteers in recent years.

Located on the Ardee road, it is the resting place for over 4,000 people who died between 1850 to 1955.

Most of the deceased came from Dundalk Workhouse from 1850 onwards, when the famine graveyard at the workhouse became full.

There are no headstones in the graveyard but only marker stones marking graves.

The Dundalk Famine Graveyard committee put white crosses marking some of the graves and volunteers completed the restoration of the graveyard wall surrounding the graveyard in 2020.

Over the century since the last burial in 1900 the graveyard fell into neglect, with vegetation destroying the neat stone walls that surrounded the site, and the grass area in the centre became badly overgrown.

For years there were suggestions that efforts should be made to reclaim the graveyard from the steady march of nature, but it was not until 2000 that a group of local people took the initiative, believing that some dignity should be shown to these victims of the Great Famine by erecting a modest and appropriate memorial on the site.

Over the last 20 years they have restored the stone walls round the graveyard, and the grass surface that covers the graves.
In so doing they have renewed interest in the people buried there and the circumstances under which they lived.

They have also ensured that a memorial service is held annually, and said that hopefully over the years access to the site, which is difficult enough, can be improved with better surfaces and signage.

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