Friday, April 25, 2014

Leigue Cemetery in Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland

"Leigue cemetery is one of the largest burial grounds in County Mayo with over 3,000 graves.  The "Friends of Leigue" organization chaired by Ballina town councillor, Johnnie O'Malley, has done a remarkable job of restoring the cemetery over the past decade.  There are about 300 headstones in the two older sections of the cemetery: the old graveyard around the ruins of Kilmore Church, and the Old Leigue Cemetery inside the walls at the top of the hill where many graves are unmarked. The majority of the headstones are in the new section where the headstones date back to about 1900.

Kilmore Church is the oldest church in the area, dating back to the 7th century, and is said to have been founded by St Patrick.  In the top photo, Kilmore Church ruins are covered in ivy.  The newer section on the left is the Lindsay family vault built out of stones from the ancient church ruins.  The special entrance (in the foreground) provided a place for the pall-bearers to rest the coffin as they entered the graveyard." 

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