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Fermanagh Gold Introduction

by Francis Fizpatrick

Clogher Record, 1980, pg 264-268
Visit the Clogher Historical Society Website

"This cemetery contains only three tombstones and thirty six headstones. In addition there are some unlettered stones, some broken ones and a few that are buried. The inscriptions are recorded in rows with the first row running left to right of the gate entrance.

"Sculptured headstones in Galoon cemetery as well as those in Drumully and Donagh have carved on the reverse, sometimes in relief, symbols of the skull and crossed-bones, bell, hourglass and coffin. The bell was the usual method of telling or announcing the death. The hourglass reminds us that time passes for us all. The coffin represents the resting place of the body within the grave and replaced the system of uncoffined burials of earlier times. The skull and crossed-bones remind us starkly of man’s mortality. In her Images of Stone (Belfast, 1976, p. 97) Helen Hickey states:

In the east part of Fermanagh, at Pubble, Aghalurcher and Galoon, the stone-carvers produced a very distinctive type of grave-slab bearing the emblems of man’s mortality---skull, crossed bones, san-timer, bell and coffin.

"Galoon Cemetery has two interesting cross shafts again described by Helen Hickey in her work, Images of Stone, p. 39:

...it is noteworthy that the Galoon cross fragments, which are roughly contemporary with the White Island statues, indicate a marked interest in depicting scenes from the life of David. On the east cross two of the scenes have been identified as David and Jonathan, and the anointing of David. the anointing is also shown on the west cross as well as an illustration of David breaking the jaws of the lion. St. Anthony appears on the east cross accompanied by St. Paul.

"These same crosses are dealt with in great detail by the late Lady Dorothy Lowry-Corry, in her article " The Sculptured Crosses of Galoon" in The Journal of Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Dublin, 1934, Vol., LXIV, Part II, (vol. iv, seventh series), pp 166-176.

"The numbers in the footnotes which follow refer to the numeration of the inscription:

03) This Reilly tombstone commemorates the antecedents of the Reilly’s of the Lanesboro Arms Hotel, Newtownbutler, and are mentioned in the Catholic Qualification Rolls Index, CR. 1959, p. 548.

09) Patrick Donegan who is buried here was father of John Donegan, who was a watchmaker and jeweller in Dublin. In 1858 when the church in Newtownbutler was undergoing repairs, under the then Adm., Rev. Patrick Traynor, he donated a bell for the newly erected church tower. In 1858 John Donegan presented a chalice to Rev. James Clarke on his return to the parish. The inscription reading, ‘Presented by John Donegan, Dame St. Dublin, to Rev. James Clarke P.P. Drumully, 1860.’ "There were three herenachs of these lands (Galoon), viz., McDonegan, O’Carberie and McGillachoyle," McKenna, Parishes of Clogher, vol ii, p. 122, and Livingstone, The Fermanagh Story, p. 426. the Rev. Philip Donegan P.P. Tempo 1867-1873, was a brother of Patrick and John Donegan who erected this headstone, cf., McKenna, Parishes of Clogher, vol.ii, p. 272.

21) Rev. Bernard Casey is recorded in ‘Clogherici, A dictionary of the Catholic Clergy of the Diocese of Clogher (1535-1835)’, by Rev. P.O. Gallachair, CR. 1955, vol i, no 3, p.83. Rev. Fr. Owen F., Traynor P.P., Mullagh, Co. Cavan, believes that Fr. Casey was born in Killinenagh townland near Scotshouse, parish of Currin and that after his ordination he lived there with his parents. In the 1827 Tythe Composition Book for the Parish of Currin, there is mention of a Berd. Casey holding 13 a. 3rds. 10phs of land at 15s-3 1/2d. Perhaps he was a relative of Fr. Casey?

24&25) Paying rent to Abraham Creichton in 1623 were: Thomas McCorry, Kilrush, Philip Martin, Gortgorgan, James McManus, Donagh Maguire and Farrell O’Reilly. According to my father, descendants of these families lived along the lake shore until the 1880’s.

28) Judith Johnston nee Martin was my great-grand aunt.

36) My father the late John Fitzpatrick was a boy of 10 in 1879 and could recall a Brady family in Derrydoon in 1880. The family lived on Derrydoon Hill, but were removed from this land and went to live at Roslea. The Rev. Thomas Brady, was, as far as is known, a chaplain with the American army.

39) This McCaffrey family were natives of Drumully. see CR, vol.i, no.2, 1954, ‘Inscriptions of Drumully Cemetry,’ by Philip Moore, pp. 35-38.

"The inscriptions from Aghalurcher, Donagh, Galoon and Drumully have now been transcribed and published in this journal. The valuable information recorded raises further questions. In Galoon the absence of Maguires or the related Fitzpatricks among the early inscriptions is worth noting. Donnegans, MacAdams and McAvineys show a strong connection with Galoon. The reason for the Donnegan connection is understandable. Does the Galoon connection give us any clue to the background of the other two families?

"The significance of the ancient boundaries, parochial and political, of the area between Lisnaskea and Clones has not been studied. The findings of the jury of 1603 that the parish church of Aghalurcher was in Clankelly barony is just one of the problems. Family attachment to ancestral burying ground can sometimes help towards finding answers to such questions. Francis Fitzpatrick’s father was buried at Newtownbutler but his ancestors were all buried in Co. Caven."

There are over 48 deaths & burials in Galoon with 24 unique surnames which are:

Brady, Casey, Cosgrove, Donaghue, Donegan, Dunagan, Dunnigan, Fitzpatrick, Goodman, Johnston, Martin, McAdam, McAviney, McAviny, McCab(e), McCaffrey, McClure, McCorry, McCory (Corry), McDonagh, McIvor, McMahon, McManus, Monaghan, Reilly

If one of the surnames above is the one you're looking for you can now go to the Deaths & Burials Search and type your chosen surname in the Surname box and enter "Galoon" in the Place box.  The results will show you all deaths and burials with that surname in Galoon.

Submitted and published here with permission of
John B. Cunningham