Reilig an tSléibe Famine Graveyard
Commissioned by: Dungarvan Famine Graveyard Restoration Committee
Three monuments are located in the cemetery: a monumental cross (1950s) commemorating the holy year 1950-1 and the Famine, a recent marker erected in August 1996, and a sculpture (made of a hollow synthetic material, of unknown date) of a female figure, accompanied by an engraved stele. While the 1950s cross inscription is still legible, the 1996 marker has worn away almost entirely, the female figure chipped and damaged, and the formerly upright stele now lying on the grass and overgrown. The female figure, stele, and 1996 marker refer to the Waterford poet in the Irish oral tradition Máire Ní Dhroma, who referred to the graveyard in her poem ‘Na Prátaí Dubha’ or ‘The Black Potatoes’. Lines from this poet also feature on the Melbourne Famine memorial, photographs of which in its original state are included in their dedication brochure.
Front: This monument / Was erected by the people / of Dungarvan and surrounding district / During the reign of Pope Pius XII. / To commemorate / the Holy Year 1950-1951 / Also in memory of / Those who died of the Famine / and are buried here / In this mountain cemetery AD 1847 / May they rest in peace amen.
Muintir Dungarbán gan a ceanntair / A tog an leact so / do comórad na bliabna naomta 1950-1951 / le linn réime an Pápa Pius XII. / 7 leact – Cuimne / na muintire do eag den Gorta / agus do adlacad annso I reilig an tSléibe / I mbliadain a 1847 / beannact dilis de le n a n-anamaca
Cuimneacán 150 bhain – 1845-1995. / Reilig An tSiéibe 1847. / Great Famine Sanctuary / Na prátaí dubha dhein ár gcomharsana do scaipeadh orainn / Do chuir sa bPoor House iad, is anonn thar farraige. / I Reilig an tSléibhe tá na céadta acu treascartha
Is uaisle na bFflaitheas go ngabhaid a bpáirt. / (Máire ni Droma)/ In Remembrance of the victims of / The Great Famine (1845-1850) / Buried here in common and unmarked graves. / “The King of Glory will show them favour, / The Virgin Mary will them befriend, / The Twelve Apostles will bid them welcome, / Oh riches more than they can ever spend”. / “The angels will play Paradise music, / God’s poor rejoicing, will in full voice sing, / Far better this than a world unthinking, / What joy to souls, the smile of Heaven’s King”