Clonony Castle, Ireland’s link with the Boleyn family

Clonony

Cluain Damhna
Coordinates: 53°14′N 7°55′WCoordinates: 53°14′N 7°55′W
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County Offaly
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)

Clonony (Irish: Cluain Damhna Beag) is a hamlet in County Offaly, Ireland, on the R357 regional road. Located between the River Brosna and the Grand Canal, it is noted for its late medieval tower house of the same name, which was built in 1500. It is situated in the parish of Gallen and Reynegh and lies approximately one mile west of Cloghan and four miles east of Banagher.

Clonony Castle

Clonony Castle

Clonony Castle (Caisleán Chluain Damhna) is a Tudor castle built by the MacCoughlan clan, and ceded to Henry VIII by John Óg MacCoghlan, then to Thomas Boleyn when Henry wanted to marry his daughter Anne.[1] Mary and Elizabeth Boleyn, second cousins to Queen Elizabeth I, lived out their lives in this castle and their tombstone still stands on the castle grounds. The grave was discovered in 1803, approximately 100 yards from the castle. The inscription on the eight feet by four feet, limestone flag reads: “Here under leys Elisabeth and Mary Bullyn, daughters of Thomas Bullyn, son of George Bullyn the son of George Bullyn Viscount Rochford son of Sir Thomas Bullyn Erle of Ormond and Willsheere.”[2]

The castle was occupied from 1612 to about 1620 by Matthew de Renzi (1577–1634), a London cloth merchant originally from Cologne in Germany, who created the first English-Irish dictionary, according to his tombstone in Athlone. He acquired it after it had been forfeited by the MacCoghlans during the Nine Years’ War.[3]

The fifty-foot tower, an Irish National Monument, is surrounded by gardens and a moat. The castle is a few miles from Clonmacnoise, an ancient seat of Irish learning. Shannon Harbour and the towns of Cloghan, Banagher and Shannonbridge are close by. The castle is currently being restored, and is open to the public at no cost, and although there are no specific hours, the owners try to keep the castle open and encourage tours.

The castle has all the basic features of a tower house of this period such as machicolation, murder hole, base batter, mural passages, spiral staircase, gun-loops, garderobe and bawn. The first floor had collapsed but has been replaced in recent restoration works by the owners. The castle also boasts a barrel-vaulted ceiling making up the second floor which has been restored.[4] The Tower House is three storeys high with an entrance in the west wall with a machicolation above it. There is a fire-proof vault over the ground floor in the interior and a spiral stair leads to the upper floors. There are round-headed, ogee-headed and flat headed windows. The bawn wall with its two square corner towers and entrance, which had a coat of arms, was reconstructed in the nineteenth century and gives a good impression of how an original Tower House might have looked, with a set of perimeter and internal defences. The inner bawn building in front of the west entrance appears to be a nineteenth-century construction.[5]

The Annals of the Four Masters record “A great war broke out in Dealbhna between the descendants of Farrell Mac Coghlan and the descendants of Donnell, in the course of which James Mac Coghlan, Prior of Gailinne, and the Roydamna of Dealbhna Eathra, was killed by a shot fired from the castle of Cluain-damhna.”[5][6]

References

  1. Sweetman, David, Medieval Castles of Ireland, Dublin, 2000.
  2. Clonony Castle, Banagher, A Brief History, Banagher Parish Council, June 1951.
  3. Ryan, Brendan, A German Planter in the Midlands, History Ireland. Retrieved on 27 January 2013.
  4. Clonony Castle, The Standing Stone. Retrieved on 27 January 2013.
  5. Clonony Castle, Cultural Heritage Ireland. Retrieved on 27 January 2013.
  6. Annála Ríoghachta Éireann (Annals of the Four Masters), M1519.15: Coccadh mór i n-Dealbhna etir Sliocht Ferghail Még Cochláin & Sliocht Domhnaill dia ro marbhadhSemus Mag Cochláin prióir Gailinne, & ríoghdhamhna Dealbhna Ethra d’urchor do pheilér as caislén Cluana Damhna.

See also

External links

A German Planter in the Midlands

Published in Early Modern History (1500–1700), Issue 1 (Spring 2000), News, Volume 8

Born in Cologne, Germany, in 1577, Mathew de Renzi claimed descent from Albania’s national hero, George Castriott, also known as Scanderberg (d.1468), who defended his homeland against the Turks. De Renzi was a cloth merchant and operated from Antwerp, one of many foreigners who controlled trade in that city. But Antwerp’s trade declined as a result of the long drawn out conflict between the ruling Spanish Hapsburgs and the Dutch United Provinces to the north, and sometime before 1604 de Renzi moved to London. By January 1606 he found himself in financial difficulties, unable to recoup money owed from other merchants: he was declared bankrupt, his creditors were after him, and in August he beat a hasty retreat to Scotland en route to Ireland.
He arrived in Ireland penniless, but soon became friendly with Sir Arthur Chichester, then Lord Deputy. Chichester saw in him an enterprising man of trade, and thus an asset for the ‘benefit of the kingdom’. During his first year in Ireland he curried favour with important establishment figures in Dublin, also visiting the port towns of Waterford, Limerick and Galway. He stayed in Thomond for some time where he became friendly with the old Irish family of Mac Bruaideadh, who were the hereditary historians of the O’Briens, Earls of Thomond. Here he learned spoken or colloquial Irish. His teachers were Conchubhar and Tadhg Mac Daire MacBruaideadh, who were both associated with the cycle of poems known as Iomarbhaidh na bhFilé [The Contention of the Bards]. From Tadhg Ó hUiginn of Sligo he learned classical Irish so that he could read Irish manuscripts and write the language. Although de Renzi was a linguist of note (speaking Latin, Italian, English, German, French and Spanish), his object in learning Irish had nothing to do with missionary zeal or even linguistic curiosity: it was motivated by a practical need to establish himself as a landowner in a Gaelic lordship.
Sometime in 1612 de Renzi arrived in West Offaly, the territory known as Delvin Eathra or Delvin MacCoghlan (the MacCoghlans were the hereditary chieftains of the area), nowadays the barony of Garrycastle, encompassing the towns of Ferbane, Banagher, Cloghan and Shannonbridge. It was bounded on the west by the river Shannon, and bogs made it almost inaccessible on the other three sides. He acquired a hundred acres in the Clononey area, including Clononey Castle, property which had been forfeited by Cuchogrie MacCoghlan, killed in 1601 during the Nine Years War. De Renzi bought it from a middle-ranking administrator, Roger Downton, probably using the dowry from his first wife, whom he had married in 1608.
When he first arrived Delvin Eathra was a vast countryside of woods and bogs, almost totally inhabited by native Irish, who spoke only Irish, and whom de Renzi described as idle, backward in speech, manners, dress and customs. Many of them bore the name MacCoghlan. He moved into the castle which had very small windows and as a result was in a state of almost perpetual darkness. He had no way of knowing for sure the extent of his lands or its boundaries. The MacCoghlans ignored his presence and ploughed his land, a customary method of indicating a land dispute. He hired local labour but there were constant outbreaks of violence between both parties.
The MacCoghlans were under instructions from the head of the clan, Sir John Óg MacCoghlan, to shun this interloper, neither to sell to him nor to buy from him, except at excessive rates. De Renzi wrote many letters to the lords deputy in Dublin and to King James I in England, seeking help and proposing schemes of plantation. His many letters give useful insights into the difficulties experienced by a settler landowner.
In January he wrote from Killenboy, County Roscommon, to Sir Oliver St John. Killenboy, situated between Knockcroghery and Lanesboro, was the home place of Richard Maypowder who had received a grant of land in 1616. De Renzi’s second wife, Anne, was a daughter of Maypowder. The Maypowder family lived in Kilteevan House, in the adjoining townland of Cloontogher, until the early years of this century and the name still persists. De Renzi was afraid to spend the winter in Clononey for fear of the MacCoghlans. His possession of the land was being hotly contested: ‘I have thought good to spend the dark winter nights here in Connacht.’
He argued that plantation would civilise Delvin Eathra. He listed the barbarous customs of the natives, such as attaching ploughs to horses’ tails, the burning of straw, the Brehon Laws, and the custom of migrating each summer with their cattle to the uplands, known as ‘booleying’. Most, he claimed, built their house without chimneys:

They live upon oaten bread and spreckled butter all the year, lie in straw, wear a shirt for four months or till it be rotten afore it be washed, keep beastly houses, endure rain, cold, and snow all day and then roast themselves at night like hogs; go naked and cazer from one smokie cabin to another; eat their meat at unseasonable time, fast sometimes two or three days together, and then eat so much again when they come at it as will keep them three of four days fasting after, like unto hungry wolves.

Next, he wrote of the idleness of the people and the lack of tradesmen. However, most of his venom was reserved for Sir John Óg MacCoghlan (Seán Óg), head of the sept. Even though Sir John had remained loyal to the Crown during the Elizabethan wars, he was portrayed by de Renzi as a traitor and a threat. He saw MacCoghlan as the main force behind the attempts to thwart him in his acquisitions and his letters demonised him. Seán Óg could not be trusted because he was ‘but a bastard, born in double bastardy’, and ruled as a tyrant, suppressing his own people. He related tales of terror perpetrated by MacCoghlan on English settlers and on his own people. Finally, he saw Delvin Eathra as having a strategic location. It was an important access route to Connacht and contained two major crossings of the Shannon, at Banagher and Shannonbridge.
It is difficult to assess the sincerity of these arguments or if they were a cover for his own greed. His grant of a hundred acres soon grew to 1,016 and he acquired properties in Counties Westmeath, Wexford and Dublin. Delvin Eathra was eventually planted in 1619/20, as were parts of Westmeath, Longford and Leitrim. About that time he sold his interest in Clononey; like others before him, he had used it as a stepping stone to greater things. He moved to Dublin and became a government administrator, always with a view to his own aggrandisement. He was knighted in 1627.
His interest in the Irish language was complex. He had mastered both the written and spoken language and was able, through conversing with the natives, to trace the genealogy of the MacCoghlans back four generations. He used this knowledge of the local béaloideas to strengthen his claim to the disputed land at Clononey. Such was his deep knowledge of both colloquial and classical Irish that he was nominated by the poets of the South (Leath Mhogha) as their independent judge against the poets of the North (Leath Chuinn), in what became known as the Contention of the Bards (1616-24).
By June 1608 he had composed an Irish grammar. He also claimed to have composed an Irish dictionary, as well as ‘chronicles in the Irish tongue’. Yet he advocated the destruction of Gaelic culture and manuscripts, seeing in them a form of propaganda which glorified dynasticism and incited the Irish against the English conquest.
He died on 29 August 1634 at the age of fifty-seven. His son, also Mathew, commissioned a memorial in his honour. It was erected in St Mary’s Church, Athlone, in 1635. When the present St Mary’s Church was built in 1820 the memorial was inserted in the rear wall, where it may still be seen. However, there is no evidence that Sir Mathew died in Athlone. The inscription reads:

This monument was erected for the rightful worshipfull Sir Mathew de Renzi Knight: Who departed this life on 29th August 1634: Beinge of the age of 57 years. Born at Cullen [sic] in Germany: and descended from that famous and renowned warrior Cieorge Castriott Als Scanderbege (who in the Christian Warre fought 52 battailes with great conquest and honour against the great Turke). He was a great traveller and general linguist: and kept correspondency with most nations in many weighty affairs: and in three years gave great pfection to his nation by composinge a grammar dictionary and chronicle in the Irish tongue and in accompts most expert and exceedinge all others to his great applause. This work was accomplished by his sonn Mathew de Renzi Esqr. August 29 1635.

Brendan Ryan is a retired school teacher.

Clonony Castle, Co. Offaly.

Location – The castle is on the R357, not far from Clonmacnoise.
OS: N 052 216 (map 47)
Longitude: 7° 55′ 19.55″ W
Latitude: 53° 14′ 41.17″ N
See map at the bottom of the page.
Description and History – This well preserved tower house is a perfect example of this style of castle. Standing at roughly 15m in height the castle has all the basic features of a tower house such as; machicolation, murder hole, base batter, mural passages, spiral staircase, gun-loops and bawn.  The first floor has collapsed but has been replaced in recent restoration works. According to the Archaeological Inventory of County Offaly the spiral staircase has partially collapsed preventing access to the upper floors. However, according to the present owner, these stairs were deliberately destroyed to prevent people accessing the castle when it was derelict. This is certainly a case of ‘state sponsored vandalism’ in Ireland which has happened all too often.  This castle also boasts a wonderful barrel vaulted ceiling making up the second floor which has been very well restored.
The history of this castle is equally as interesting as the building itself.  It was built by the MacCoughlan clan the early 16th century and was the first place in Ireland to practice musketry but was then ceded to Henry VIII in early 17th century.  The castle passed into the hands of the Boleyn family.  It was given as a gift to Thomas Boleyn by Henry as he wanted to marry Anne Boleyn.  In fact, cousins of Anne are buried in the grounds underneath a hawthorn three.  The writing on the stone has eroded away but may still be recovered with a rubbing.  Luckily this castle escaped the campaign of Cromwell and is in relatively good condition. The castle did become ruined but the excellent renovation work of the present owner is slowly restoring this castle to its former glory.
Difficulty – This site is not difficult to find as on the side of the road on the R357, not far from Clonmacnoise. There is no official parking here so you will have to park on the grass verge. The castle is privately owned and is a residence so always knock on the door and don’t barge in.
For more castles, click here.
For more sites in Co. Offaly, click here.
The impressive gateway entrance. You can see above the arch where the coat of arms would have been located. The owner informed me that it was removed by the previous owners and is still in tact somewhere.
Machicolation above the bawn wall entrance.
The bawn entrance from the inside.
The Boelyn gravestone.
Inside the renovated ground floor.
The owner has painstakingly found antiques to give the castle an authentic feel.
The restored first floor level.
One of the mural passages.
Looking out of one of the gun-loops.
Looking down on the second floor. The castle is missing its roof.

Howard Mausoleum, Kilbride., Arklow, County Wicklow

Figure 1: A view of the pyramid erected in 1785 as a mausoleum for the Howard family of nearby Shelton Abbey.  Described in 2001 as a valuable piece of heritage at risk of being lost through neglect and decay, the pyramid was adopted as a project by the Arklow Marine and Heritage Committee who, in partnership with TÚS, have begun a careful restoration of the mausoleum

Figure 1: A view of the pyramid erected in 1785 as a mausoleum for the Howard family of nearby Shelton Abbey. Described in 2001 as a valuable piece of heritage at risk of being lost through neglect and decay, the pyramid was adopted as a project by the Arklow Marine and Heritage Committee who, in partnership with TÚS, have begun a careful restoration of the mausoleum

Sitting on a small rise a mile north of Arklow, overlooking the river Avoca, is a monument described by Sir John Betjeman (1906-84) as the largest pyramid tomb ‘beyond the banks of the Nile’ (fig. 1).  It stands on the highest position in the ancient cemetery of Kilbride, dwarfing the ruins of the adjacent medieval church, and is easily seen from most points within a two-mile radius.

When Ralph Howard (1726-86) of Shelton Abbey was made first Viscount Wicklow in 1785, he decided that no longer would a departed Howard be buried in cold clay; their bodies would be housed in an edifice more befitting aristocracy.  Philosophical Enlightenment was at its height and to speak of Athenian, Egyptian or Roman architecture was to display not only education but good taste.  The new mausoleum, Howard decided, would be a pyramid.

The design is believed to be the work of an English sculptor and stonecutter, Simon Vierpyl (c.1725–1810).  Vierpyl was well acquainted with Enlightenment taste having spent almost a decade in Rome producing souvenir copies of ancient sculpture for the well-heeled on their Grand Tour.  He was brought to Ireland by James Caulfield (1728-99), fourth Viscount Charlemont, and soon became known for his designs based on ancient civilisations.  He worked closely with Sir William Chambers (1723-96) on the Casino (1758-76) at Marino; Castletown House (c.1760), County Kildare; and Charlemont House (1763-75) in Rutland Square [Parnell Square], Dublin.  According to The Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720-1940 he appears to ‘have done relatively little purely sculptural work’ in Ireland, being employed chiefly as a stone-carver, mason and clerk of works.  The Howard Mausoleum does not appear in the list of works accredited to him.

Figure 2: A view of the sarcophagus inscribed: Within the walls of the adjoining Church lie interr'd the Remains of/M. Dorothea Howard otherwise Hassels Relict of John Howard Esq./Who Departed this Life at Shelton in December 1684 to Whose/Memory and that of their Descendants and as a place/of Burial for his Family Ralph Viscount Wicklow/has caused this Monument to be Erected/in the year of our Lord 1785

Figure 2: A view of the sarcophagus inscribed: Within the walls of the adjoining Church lie interr’d the Remains of/M. Dorothea Howard otherwise Hassels Relict of John Howard Esq./Who Departed this Life at Shelton in December 1684 to Whose/Memory and that of their Descendants and as a place/of Burial for his Family Ralph Viscount Wicklow/has caused this Monument to be Erected/in the year of our Lord 1785

The pyramid’s outer cladding is granite blocks.  The base is approximately twenty-seven feet square, the walls are perpendicular to the height of six feet, at which level the slopes begin, meeting at the pinnacle some thirty feet above ground level.  A sarcophagus on the north side records that the monument was erected in memory of an earlier Howard and as a place of burial for the family (fig. 2).  North of the pyramid is a small Egyptian-style structure with a temple front that is often taken for part of the mausoleum, but this leads to a second chamber that houses a minor branch of the Howard family (fig. 3).

Access to the inside was gained by a small door in the north wall — now sealed — from which a narrow corridor of about eight or nine feet leads to a chamber ten feet square.  This has a curved brick roof, about fifteen feet from the floor at its highest point.  The wall facing the short corridor and the walls to the right and left each contain nine niches for coffins, three rows of three.

The coffins were inserted lengthwise so that each niche opening is only two feet six inches square, receding about seven feet.  A slab, on which the biographical details of the interred was carved as on ordinary headstones, was fitted to seal the niche.  The fourth wall has only six niches, three placed vertically either side of the chamber entrance, making a total of thirty-three coffin spaces in all — Freemasonry symbolism or just a handy number?  The strange thing is, only eighteen are occupied.

Figure 3: Writing in Mausolea Hibernica (1999) Maurice Craig described the Howard Mausoleum as 'one of the most romantic and mysterious of Irish mausolea...  The mystery is that below and in front of [the pyramid] is the curious façade in granite with more than a whiff of the Egyptian taste about it, which must surely be later and is even perhaps of a different family'

Figure 3: Writing in Mausolea Hibernica (1999) Maurice Craig described the Howard Mausoleum as ‘one of the most romantic and mysterious of Irish mausolea… The mystery is that below and in front of [the pyramid] is the curious façade in granite with more than a whiff of the Egyptian taste about it, which must surely be later and is even perhaps of a different family’

The first interment was of Ralph Howard’s daughter Isabella.  She was nineteen when she died in December 1784.  As the pyramid was not built until the following year, it is reasonable to assume that Isabella was buried in the graveyard and re-interred in the mausoleum when it was ready.  The last interment of which we have a record took place in 1823, but folklore states that there was another.  For weeks following the interment of an infant family member, tenants living at Kilbride reported the sound of a child crying at night.  The body was, we are told, removed and interred elsewhere after which the crying is said to have stopped.  The pyramid was sealed and never used again.

Jim Rees teaches history and communications with County Wicklow VEC.  He and fellow local historian, Pat Power, were given access to the interior of the Howard Mausoleum in 1986

‘Giza on the Avoca’

By Jim Rees

Sitting on a small rise a mile north of Arklow, overlooking the river Avoca, is a monument described by John Betjeman as the largest pyramid tomb ‘beyond the banks of the Nile’. It stands on the highest position in the ancient cemetery of Kilbride, dwarfing the ruins of the adjacent medieval church, and is easily seen from most points within a two-mile radius.

When Ralph Howard of Shelton Abbey was made 1st Viscount Wicklow in 1785, he decided that no longer would a departed Howard be buried in cold clay; their bodies would be housed in an edifice more befitting aristocracy. Philosophical Enlightenment was at its height and to speak of Egyptian, Athenian or Roman architecture was to display not only education but good taste. The new mausoleum, Howard decided, would be a pyramid.

The design is believed to be the work of an English sculptor and stonecutter, Simon Vierpyl (c. 1725–1810). Vierpyl was well acquainted with Enlightenment taste having spent almost a decade in Rome producing souvenir copies of ancient sculpture for the well-heeled on their Grand Tour. He was brought to Ireland by James Caulfield, 4th Viscount Charlemont (1728–99), and soon became known for his designs based on ancient civilisations. He worked closely with architect William Chambers on Castletown House, Charlemont House in Rutland (now Parnell) Square in Dublin, and the Casino at Marino. According to The dictionary of Irish architects(http://www.dia.ie/architects/view/5439) he appears to ‘have done relatively little purely sculptural work’ in Ireland, being employed chiefly as a stone-carver, mason and clerk of works. The Howard mausoleum does not appear in the list of works accredited to him.

The pyramid’s outer cladding is granite blocks. The base is approximately twenty-seven feet square, the walls are perpendicular to the height of six feet, at which level the slopes begin, meeting at the pinnacle some thirty feet above ground level. A sarcophagus on the north side records that the monument was erected in memory of an earlier Howard and as a place of burial for the family. North of the pyramid is a small Egyptian-style structure with a temple front that is often taken for part of the mausoleum, but this leads to a second chamber that houses a minor branch of the Howard family.

Access to the inside of the pyramid was gained by a small door in the north wall — now sealed — from which a narrow corridor of about eight or nine feet leads to a chamber ten feet square. This has a curved brick roof, about fifteen feet from the floor at its highest point. The wall facing the short corridor and the walls to the right and left each contain nine niches for coffins, three rows of three.

The coffins were inserted lengthwise so that each niche opening is only two feet six inches square, receding about seven feet. A slab, on which the biographical details of the interred were carved as on ordinary headstones, was fitted to seal the niche. The fourth wall has only six niches, three placed vertically either side of the chamber entrance, making a total of thirty-three coffin spaces in all — masonic symbolism or just a handy number? The strange thing is, only eighteen are occupied.

The first interment was of Ralph Howard’s daughter Isabella. She was nineteen when she died in December 1784. As the pyramid was not built until the following year, it is reasonable to assume that Isabella was buried in the graveyard and re-interred in the mausoleum when it was ready. The last interment of which we have a record took place in 1823, but folklore states that there was another. For weeks following the interment of an infant family member, tenants living at Kilbride reported the sound of a child crying at night. The body was, we are told, removed and interred elsewhere after which the crying is said to have stopped. The pyramid was sealed and never used again.

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

KILBRIDE, a parish, in the barony of ARKLOW, county of WICKLOW, and province of LEINSTER, 2 miles (N. by W.) from Arklow, on the river Ovoca, and the road to Wicklow; containing 1192 inhabitants. It lies on the coast, and is generally under a good state of cultivation. Shelton Abbey, the splendid seat of the Earl of Wicklow, described in the article on Arklow, is partly within its limits; and there are several good residences, of which the principal are Sheepwalk, that of T. Murray, Esq.; Seabank, of R. Hudson, Esq.; Ballymoney, of the Rev. M. J. Mayers; and Killiniskyduff, of M. Hudson, Esq. Near the mouth of the Ovoca is a coastguard station. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Dublin and Glendalough, previously to 1833 a part of the union of Arklow, and now united with the vicarages of Enorely and Templemichael; together constituting the union of Kilbride, in the patronage of the Archbishop. The tithes of the parish amount to £200. 6. 2. The church, erected in 1834, at the expense of the Earl of Wicklow, is a handsome structure, in the later English style, with a square embattled tower crowned with pinnacles. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Newbridge and Baranisky; the chapel is a neat and spacious edifice. About 210 children are taught, in the public schools, of which the parochial male and female schools are supported by the Earl and Countess of Wicklow; and there are two infants’ schools, one supported by the Countess, and the other by the Rev. M. J. Mayers, the present incumbent; also a Sunday school. The ruins of the old church are on an eminence commanding a fine view of the town and bridge of Arklow, a great expanse of sea, the demesne of Shelton Abbey, and the woods of Glenart, In the churchyard is a mausoleum of the Howard family; there is also an ancient burial-place at Templereeny.

Our hidden pyramid is revealed by DEBORAH COLEMAN

A CLEAN-UP operation is revealing a long-hidden face in the countryside around Arklow as a pyramid literally emerges from the undergrowth following years of neglect.

Few people in Arklow and the wider county are even aware of the existence of the pyramid at the old Kilbride Cemetery on the outskirts of the town.

The monolith was commissioned by Ralph Howard, 1st Viscount Wicklow in the 1780s, as a burial site for him and his family is situated in and dominates the old cemetery.

It is the final resting place of 18 of his family members

More than 500 people are believed to be buried in the cemetery which had become overgrown and neglected in recent years with the pyramid itself covered in ivy and tree growth.

The Arklow Marine and Heritage Committee, chaired by Cllr. Sylvester Bourke was formed with a view to getting some preservation work carried out at the site and following a successful application to County Wicklow Partnership (CWP) participants on the TÚS Project were assigned to commence the work.

Prior to this, the committee commissioned a conservation report to ensure that works would be carried out appropriately and in keeping with the requirements for any such historical site.

The two-year project makes manpower available to the committee and has already made vast improvements inside the site with much of the overgrowth cut back and removed.

‘It is a countywide programme which assigns participants to various schemes for 19.5 hours per week,’ explained Dermot Byrne of CWP.

‘ TÚS covers three areas: caretaking/maintenance, administration and social care.

‘Funding, however is limited to the public are asked to donate tools or equipment where possible by contacting the partnership offices in Arklow,’ he added.

Visitors to Arklow are to this day taken aback at the sight of a perfectly formed and quite large pyramid in the distance along the local landscape and are astounded by its existence.

‘In those days it was very important for the gentry of the 18th century to put down their markers and those who had a heavy enough purse to allow them to take a couple of years off would take what was known as ‘ The Grand Tour’,’ explained local Historian Pat Power.

‘ Those such as Ralph Howard, a few years before he became Viscount Wicklow, would travel to Italy, France and Greece if they could get there.

‘ The Grecian and Roman architecture was heavily influenced by the mysticism of the pyramids which was adapted into funereal art.

‘Howard was very much into freemasonry and in part adapted this type of building into the pyramid and mausoleum at Kilbride, on quite a large scale,’ he added.

History buffs will be intrigued to learn that the Howard pyramid isn’t the only one in Co. Wicklow as the Stratford family built a similar structure in Baltinglass which is still there today.

As the work continues at the old Kilbride Cemetery it is envisaged that a new boundary fence will be installed and that a gate and floodlighting, funding permitted, will complete the project.

According to the Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720-1940, the pyramid and mausoleum were built by Simon Vierpyl who has spent nine years in Rome in the mid-1740s making copies of antique sculpture for grand tourists.

FURTHER READING

Craig, Maurice and Craig, Michael, Mausolea Hibernica (Dublin: The Lilliput Press, 1999)

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New book: The Tombs of Pompeii. Organization, Space, and Society

Congratulations to Virginia Campbell on the publication by Routledge of her new book, The Tombs of Pompeii. Organization, space and society! Here are the details:

Virginia L. Campbell, The Tombs of Pompeii. Organization, space and society. Routledge: London and New York, 2014. ISBN 9781138809192, £85.

This book offers a comprehensive overview of the tombs of Pompeii and its immediate environs, examining the funerary culture of the population, delving into the importance of social class and self-representation, and developing a broad understanding of Pompeii’s funerary epigraphy and business. The Pompeian corpus of evidence has heretofore been studied in a piecemeal fashion, not conducive to assessing trends and practices. Here, a holistic approach to the funerary monuments allows for the integration of data from five differentnecropoleis and analysis of greater accuracy and scope.
Author Virginia Campbell demonstrates that the funerary practices of Pompeii are, in some ways, unique in to the population, moving away from the traditional approach to burial based on generalizations and studies of typology. She shows that while some trends in Roman burial culture can be seen as universal, each population, time, and place constructs its own approach to commemoration and display. Including an extensive catalogue of tomb data and images never before assembled or published, this collective approach reveals new insights into ancient commemoration. The Tombs of Pompeii is the first English-language book on Pompeian funerary rituals. It’s also the first in any language to provide a complete survey of the tombs of Pompeii and the first to situate Pompeian differences within a wider Roman burial context.

Virginia L. Campbell, The Tombs of Pompeii. Organization, space and society. Routledge: London and New York, 2014. ISBN 9781138809192, £85.

Ballboy era in inter-county game comes to an end

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The day of the ballboy in inter-county Gaelic games is no more, Croke Park have confirmed.

By John Fogarty, GAA Correspondent

The organisation’s Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) have taken the decision to do without ball retrievers at all league and championship games this year.

As there are no ballboys on duty for provincial fixtures, where there has been little or no problems encountered, it was agreed by the CCCC that this year the measure would be extended to all Central Council-organised games.

Goalkeepers must now retrieve the balls themselves.

The restart protocol in hurling is slightly different: in last year’s All-Ireland final, the goalkeepers had to be handed the sliotar by an umpire before pucking it out.

Last June, the CCCC issued a directive that all ballboys on duty at a football championship game must come from a county not involved in that particular fixture.

It was also stated the ballboy could not feed the ball directly to the goalkeeper but position the balls in a place of easy access to him.

That decision was taken in the wake of injured Tyrone player Conor Clarke acting as Niall Morgan’s ball-retriever during their clash with Monaghan earlier that month.

Standing behind the goal, Clarke attempted to distract Kieran Hughes when he took the penalty and was later asked to leave the area.

In an interview in this newspaper 13 months ago, Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice claimed Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton was fed the ball quickly in the 2013 All-Ireland semi-final but when Dublin were leading Kerry’s supply from ballboys slowed down.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Allianz Football League Division 1 – Kerry 1-17 Derry 0-13

Kerry defeated Derry by 1-17 to 0-13 in Round 2 of the Allianz Football League Division 1 on February 8th at Celtic Park.


Allianz Football League Division 1 – Kerry 1-17 Derry 0-13

Paul Geaney’s match-winning total of 1-5 from play helped All-Ireland champions Kerry pick up their first victory in this year’s Allianz Football League.

In what was their first-ever match in Celtic Park, Kerry were never behind and led 0-10 to 0-7 at half time. Derry captain Mark Lynch was given a red card after 51 minutes when his side were trailing by four points. Kerry were already in control but took advantage of the extra man to romp to a comfortable win, with Geaney hitting 1-4 of his total in the second period. Bryan Sheehan was unerring from dead balls hitting seven points in all.

Geaney and Stephen O’Brien kicked points inside the first minute to put Kerry ahead and although Derry drew level twice during the opening half, the Kingdom had their noses in front for most of it. Derry wing-back Kevin Johnston scored their first point and a Mark Lynch free drew them level after five minutes.

Kerry opened up a 0-5 to 0-3 lead with Bryan Sheehan in fine form with a 45m point from play, a long-range free off the ground and a ’45′. With little penetration in the full-forward line, Derry were restricted to long-range points and Gerard O’Kane, sweeper Daniel Heavron and Ciaran McFaul all landed sweet points from distance.

Tommy Walsh, starting his first game for Kerry since the 2009 All-Ireland final, started at wing-forward but struggled to get into the game and switched to full-forward before half-time. Kerry had a strong second quarter and Jack Sherwood ran 50 metres straight through the heart of the opposition’s defence to chip the ball over the bar with Stephen O’Brien and Barry John Keane also on target as the visitors coasted to a 0-10 to 0-7 half-time lead.

With no scores from their full-forward line, Derry brought on Eoin Bradley for the start of the second half and he gave them a physical presence up front and kicked four frees. His brace early in the second half brought the Oak Leafers to within a point, but Kerry responded with Geaney stroking over points off either foot.

Derry were trailing 0-13 to 0-9 when Lynch was dismissed for a high elbow tackle on Jonathan Lyne in the 51st minute. Initially Derry rallied, scoring the next two points with frees from Bradley and Ciaran McFaul.

However, Kerry outscored the home side by 1-4 to 0-2 in the closing 14 minutes with the goal coming after a slack pass across goal by Niall Holly. The ball was recycled out to Johnny Buckley who fed Geaney and his low curling left-footed finish in the 61st minute cemented a good away win for the Kingdom.

Scorers for Derry: E Bradley 0-4 (4f), M Lynch 0-2 (2f), C McFaul 0-2 (1f), D Heavron 0-2, G O’Kane 0-1, K Johnston 0-1, B Heron 0-1 (f).

Scorers for Kerry: P Geaney 1-5, B Sheehan 0-7 (5f, 1 ’45′), BJ Keane 0-2 (1f), S O’Brien 0-2, J Sherwood 0-1.

DERRY: T Mallon; O Duffy, N Holly, J O’Kane; K Johnston, G O’Kane, SL McGoldrick; M Lynch, C McAtamney; C McFaul, B Heron, E Lynn; M Craig, T O’Brien, D Heavron. Subs: E Bradley (0-4, 4f) for O’Brien (HT), D Brown for J O’Kane (42), E McGuckin for Craig (44), N McNicholl for McAtamney (53), C Murphy for McFaul (BC, 68), J Kearney for Lynn (70)

KERRY: B Kealy; P Kilkenny, M Griffin, F Fitzgerald; J Lyne, J Sherwood, P Murphy; D Moran, J Buckley; M Geaney, B Sheehan, T Walsh; S O’Brien, P Geaney, BJ Keane. Subs: A Maher for Walsh (42), K Young for Kilkenny (58), D Walsh for M Geaney (59), K O’Leary for Keane (64), P O’Connor for Fitzgerald (BC, 64)

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)
***
Report: Orla Bannon for GAA.ie




Fixture Details

Sun 08 Feb
Allianz Football League Roinn 1 2015 Round 2
Venue: Celtic Park
Derry V Kerry 14:00
Ref: Joe Mc Quillan



Team News

Kerry Senior Football Team V Derry

The Kerry Senior Football Team to play Derry in Round 2 of the Allianz Football League in Celtic Park, Derry on Sunday shows one change in personnel from the side that started against Mayo in Round 1 – Tommy Walsh makes his first start in the Kerry colours since the All Ireland Final of 2009 partnering his club colleague David Murphy in midfield. Kieran O’Leary drops to the subs bench with Anthony Maher, Killian Young and Donnchadh Walsh also returning to the panel.

The team, captained by David Moran is as follows:

1. Brendan Kealy Kilcummin

2. Pa Kilkenny Glenbeigh/Glencar

3. Mark Griffin St Michaels/Foilmore

4. Fionn Fitzgerald Dr Crokes

5. Jonathan Lyne Killarney Legion

6. Jack Sherwood Firies

7. Paul Murphy Rathmore

8. David Moran (C) Kerins O’Rahillys

9. Tommy Walsh Kerins O’Rahillys

10. Michael Geaney Dingle

11. Bryan Sheehan St Marys

12. Johnny Buckley Dr Crokes

13. Stephen O’Brien Kenmare

14. Paul Geaney Dingle

15. Barry John Keane Kerins O’Rahillys

Fir Ionaid:

16. Shane Murphy Kilcummin

17. Kieran O’Leary Dr Crokes

18. Philip O’Connor Cordal

19. Alan Fitzgerald Castlegregory

20. Jack McGuire Listowel Emmets

21. Shane Enright Tarbert

22. Anthony Maher Duagh

23. Killian Young Renard

24. Donnchadh Walsh Cromane

25. Padraig O’Connor Killarney Legion

26. Thomas Hickey Desmonds

27. DaithI Casey Dr Crokes

Bainisteóir: Eamonn Fitzmaurice (Finuge)

Traenálaí: Cian O’Neill (Moorefield, Kildare)

Róghnóirí: Diarmuid Murphy (Dingle), Mikey Sheehy (Austin Stacks).

Additional Information:

Tommy Walsh

Made his League debut V Limerick in 2007, having been a Minor in 2005 and 06, played U21 for 3 years 2007 to 2009. Made his Champ debut V Clare in 2008 and scored 4-23 in 16 senior Champ appearances. Holder of an All Ireland medal following victory over Cork in 2009 a game in which in kicked 4 points from distance from play, 2 with right and two with the left! Has been in Australia playing AFL since then.

Jack Sherwood

Made League Debut V Donegal in 2013 and Champ debut in semi final V Dublin same year

A Run thru the subs:

Shane Murphy – Current U 21 Goalkeeper – U21 Keeper since 2013

Padraig “Podge” O’Connor – Made AFL debut V Dublin in 2010, Played Minor in 2009 and U21 in 2009 and 2010.

Thomas Hickey – Kerry Minor 2010 and 2011, Kerry U21 in 2014

Philip O’Connor – Played Kerry Junior in 2013 – When he came on as a sub against Mayo in Round 1 he was the first Cordal man to play senior for Kerry since the great Tim “Tiger” Lyons who won 2 All Irelands with Kerry in 1959 and 1962.

Alan Fitzgerald – Member of last year’s extended panel but injury hampered his progress last year, has played U21 and Junior for Kerry and came on as a sub in last year’s AFL against Dublin.

Daithí Casey – Made his League debut against Mayo as far back as 2011, Holder of 4 Co Champ medals with Dr Crokes

The Derry team to play Kerry on Sunday at Celtic Park (2pm) is as follows:

1. Thomas Mallon / T Ó Maoileoin (An Lúb)
2. Oisín Duffy / O Ó Dubhthaigh (Forghleann)
3. Niall Holly / N Holly / (Eoghan Rua)
4. John O’Kane / S Ó Catháin (Gleann an Iolair)
5. Kevin Johnston / C Johnston (Dún Geimhin)
6. Gerard O’Kane / G Ó Catháin (Gleann an Iolair)
7. Sean Leo McGoldrick / S L Mac Ualghairg (Eoghan Rua)
8. Mark Lynch (C) / M Ó Loingsigh (Beannchar)
9. Conor McAtamney / C Mac an Tiompanaigh (Suaitreach)
10. Ciarán McFaul / C MacPhail (Gleann)
11. Benny Heron / B O’hEarain (Baile na Scrine)
12. Enda Lynn / E Loinn (Grainloch)
13. Mark Craig / M de Creag (Dún Geimhin)
14. Terence O’Brien / T Ó Briain (An Lúb)
15. Daniel Heavron / D Heavron (Machaire Fíolta)
16. Eoin McNicholl / E Mac Niocaill (Gleann an Iolair)
17. Declan Brown / D de Brun (Baile Eachaidh)
18. Liam McGoldrick / L Mac Ualghairg (Eoghan Rua)
19. Conor Murphy / C Ó Murchadh (Dún Geimhin)
20. Néill McNicholl / N Mac Niocaill (Gleann an Iolair)
21. Barry McGoldrick / B Mac Ualghairg (Eoghan Rua)
22. Eoin Bradley / E O’Brolachán (Gleann an Iolair)
23. James Kearney / S Ó Brollacháin (Suaitreach)
24. Daniel McKinless / D Mag Aonglais (Baile an Doire)
25. Emmett McGuckin / E Mag Eocháin (Machaire Fíolta)
26. Seán Brady / S Ó Brádaigh (Baile Mhic Guaigín
27. Brian Óg McAlary / B Óg Ó Cleirigh (Cill Ria)

Allianz Football League Division 4 – Offaly 0-13 Waterford 1-4

Offaly defeated Waterford by 0-13 to 1-4 in Round 2 of the Allianz Football League Division 4 on February 8th at O’Connor Park, Tullamore.


Offaly profit from solid defensive display against Waterford

Offaly 0-13 Waterford 1-4

Allianz Football League Division 4 – Offaly 0-13 Waterford 1-4

Report from the Irish Times newspaper

A very solid defensive display laid a powerful foundation as Offaly recorded a second league win yesterday. Having conceded just 1-2 in London the previous week, Offaly kept Waterford to 1-4 in Tullamore and an improved attacking display saw them pull away for a comprehensive victory.

The introduction of Niall McNamee early in the second half provided the spark for Offaly to push on. Offaly were level, 0-6 to 1-3, when McNamee came in and the Rhode man kicked two superb points as the home side put the boot down. Waterford played most of the game with fourteen men after midfielder Shane Aherne was sent off for a second yellow card after nineteen minutes. They competed well in very foggy conditions in the first half and Michael Curry’s punched goal gave them a 1-2 to 0-4 lead in the 27th minute. Waterford were a point up, 1-3 to 0-5 at half time, but Offaly were a vastly superior outfit in the second half, restricting them to just one point and adding eight themselves.

OFFALY: A Mulhall; D Brady, P McConway, J O’Connor (0-1); C Donohue, J Maloney, D Hogan (0-2); G Guilfoyle (0-1), R Allen (0-1); K Mullally, P Sullivan, N Bracken; B Allen (0-1), N Dunne (0-3, one free), W Mulhall (0-2, one free)
Subs: E Rigney for O’Connor (bc, 36 mins), N McNamee (0-2) for Mulhall (bc, 41 mins), A Sullivan for Bracken (44 mins), N Geraghty for Mullally (59 mins), C McNamee for A Sullivan (bc, 59 mins), J Ledwith for Brady (65 mins).

WATERFORD: S Enright; D Crowley, R O’Ceallaigh, T O’Gorman; T O’hUllachain, M O’Gorman, C Phelan; S Aherne (0-1, f), T Prendergast; M Curry (1-0), M O’Halloran (0-1), P Hurney (0-1); M Fercombe, J Veale, G Nugent
Subs: P Whyte (0-1, free) for Veale (22 mins), O Keevers for Curry (46 mins), N Walsh for Whyte (64 mins), JJ Hutchinson for Ferncombe (62 mins), J Curry for Nugent (66 mins).

Referee: S Joy (Kerry)


Fixture Details

Sun 08 Feb
Allianz Football League Roinn 4 2015 Round 2
Venue: O Connor Park, Tullamore
Offaly V Waterford 14:00
Ref: Sean Joy


Team News

Waterford Senior Football team to play Offaly in O’Connor Park, Tullamore on Sunday has been named following training tonight.
1. Stephen Enright Ballinacourty
2. Dean Crowley St. Saviours
3. Ray Ó Ceallaigh An Rinn
4. Thomas O’Gorman (CAPT) Nire
5. Tadhg Ó hUallacháin An Rinn
6. Maurice O’Gorman Nire
7. Conor Phelan Brickey Rangers
8. Shane Aherne Stradbally
9. Tommy Prendergast Kilrossanty
10. Michael Curry Rathgormack
11. Michael O’Halloran Ballinacourty
12. Patrick Hurney Ballinacourty
13. Mark Ferncombe Ballinacourty
14. Joey Veale Kilrossanty
15. Gavin Nugent Rathgormack


Paul Geaney says Tommy Walsh finding his feet and will again be a force for Kerry

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tommy Walsh.

Tommy Walsh in 2009

Paul Geaney has no doubt Tommy Walsh will be a force for Kerry again, yet the 2014 All Star nominee believes the former AFL player may take longer to re-acclimatise to Gaelic games than Tadhg Kennelly did five years ago.

Kennelly was an AFL player for eight years – three longer than Walsh — when he returned home to win an All-Ireland title with the Kingdom in 2009, but he had routinely spent his off-seasons making the odd appearance for Listowel Emmets. Walsh has not topped up his Gaelic skills in the same manner with Kerins O’Rahillys and so has returned to his native code cold in recent months with little in the bank after five years attempting to perfect the art of playing with an oval ball.

That said, Walsh made his full debut for Kerry in Derry two days ago and Geaney spotted what he believed to be clear signs of improvement in his 43 minutes from the man who made a cameo off the bench against Mayo.

“He is kicking well,” said Geaney. “It is a difficult skill to start kicking with the oval ball and it must be similar when you come back. He hasn’t really played football here, unlike Tadhg Kennelly who used to come back for local championships. Tommy didn’t do that, so it must have been strange coming back, getting up to the speed of things in Division One of the Allianz League. But he’s progressing well.”

Walsh appeared for Ireland in the International Rules series during his sojourn Down Under and he has lined out for Kerry a good six weeks earlier than Kennelly did when he made his bow back in March of 2009. The Kerins O’Rahilly man looked rusty at times in Celtic Park, but one long and accurate kick pass to clubmate Barry John Keane stood out. Even so, it may well be the summer when pitches are harder that we see the best of him.

“Well, none of us are used to the softer pitches after the winter we had,” said Geaney with a laugh. “But the best is absolutely still to come for Tommy and for the whole group. The fitness and the sharpness is going to come. It’s a bit early in the year to be expecting that off every fella. As the pitches get harder and the training progresses every fella is going to get into good nick and Tommy is going to be sharp when championship comes.”

Geaney is already there on Sunday’s evidence. The Dingle full-forward was electric in Derry, scoring 1-5 and setting up half-a-dozen other points despite the attention of three different markers over the course of the day.

“Ah, it’s nice to get a bit of a tally,” he said. “I’m feeling sharp again for the first time in a while so happy days. It’s the first time in a while I’ve kicked a big score, hopefully it continues.”

Perhaps the most impressive aspect to Kerry’s overall display was the fact that it came despite the absence of so many faces.

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