Monday, February 28, 2011

Mystery Monday: Who lies beneath this disappearing monument?

Back in October I posted photographs of this monument and mistakenly identified it as that over the grave of Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu (28 August 1814 – 7 February 1873), the 'father' of the modern ghost story, who was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels.

I was drawn to this particular stone in Mount Jerome after reading a biography of Le Fanu penned by Dr. McCormack in which the author describes this stone as Le Fanu's. The very simple description in the cemetery register appeared to support this claim saying, "A Tomb on Granite Platform and 4 Balls"; however, I was contacted by a Le Fanu scholar who informed me of the error and pointed me in the direction of the correct tomb. Apparently I am not the first person to have made the error, but when I attempted to discern the name of the actual occupant of this tomb I discovered that it is unknown. There is no record attached to it, no discernible name on the stone, and the number on the stone is no longer legible.


Who is entombed under this monument?

*Click on Photos to view a larger version.
All Photographs ©Copyright J.Geraghty-Gorman

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Thomas Foran: Union President, Irish Senator

Thomas Foran was a trade union official and union president who was ran as an independent and was elected to the Free State Seanad Éireann (Senate of the Irish Parliament ) in a by-election on 28 November 1923. The by-election was held in order to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Thomas MacPartlin on 20 October 1923. Although the records of the Oireachtas indicate Foran was re-elected in 1925 and served until the Free State Seanad Éireann was abolished on 29 May 1936, his grave marker indicates he served until 1948. President Eamonn DeValera established a new Seanad Éireann with the Constitution of 1937; Foran would have served in the new Seanad. Thomas Foran died 18 March 1951 and is buried in this grave on the outer rim of O'Connell's Circle at Glasnevin Cemetery.

Reference: Houses of the Oireachtas (National Parliament of Ireland) website

*Click on photograph to view larger version.
Photograph ©Copyright J. Geraghty-Gorman 2011.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Small Figures of Love and Remembrance

Sometimes the smallest and most simple figures in the cemetery express a depth of love and loss far greater than that of the largest monuments.

All Photographs ©Copyright J.Geraghty-Gorman 2011.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Edward Southwell Ruthven: Irish Politician 1772-1836

Born in 1772 in Downpatrick, County Down, Edward Southwell Ruthven was the eldest of three sons born to Edward Trotter, a clergyman of the Established Church (Church of Ireland). The Trotters' youngest son Ruthven Trotter was a Major in the British army, and in 1807 was killed in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Shortly thereafter Edward Southwell assumed Ruthven as his surname, instead of Trotter. Although he entered Wadham College Oxford in October of 1790, he left the university without a degree and instead pursued politics. In November of 1806 Ruthven successfully contested the parliamentary representation of Downpatrick, as a member of the Whig Party, against John Wilson Croker. He made his inaugural speech on 17 January 1807; however, parliament was dissolved the following April, and in the general election in May, Croker ousted Ruthven from Downpatrick.

Ruthven did not enter Parliament again until 1830, when he was re-elected member for Downpatrick as a supporter of Daniel O'Connell. He was re-elected for the same constituency on 9 May 1831; however, in the elections of 1832 Ruthven was returned with O'Connell as member for Dublin. From this time he took an active part in parliamentary debates. His speeches were deemed to be inarticulate in nature and delivered with a "harsh voice". During the session of 1834 he acquired notoriety by moving for adjournment of the house night after night, and members made an organized attempt to prevent his being heard by coughing and yawning. It is alleged that Ruthven aimed to cure their yawning and coughing by exchanging gunfire with a fellow member outside of Parliament.

In January 1835 Ruthven was again returned with O'Connell as a member for Dublin, but a petition for his removal was at once presented. An inquiry into the matter was prolonged until May of 1836, when both he and Daniel O'Connell were unseated, but it was of no consequence as Edward Southwell Ruthven had died 31 March 1836 at his lodgings in North Street, Westminster, England. He is buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin; the foundation-stone of his monument was laid by Daniel O'Connell.

*Click on Photographs to view larger version.
All photographs ©Copyright J.Geraghty-Gorman 2011.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Thomas Kirk, Sculptor: 1781-1845

Cork born, Thomas Kirk was a noted Irish sculptor. He studied at the Dublin Society's School of Art where he won prizes in 1797 and 1800. Kirk was acclaimed for his fine relief work on mantle-pieces and monuments. Some of his work may be seen in the Royal College of Surgeons, the Royal Dublin Society, and the library of Trinity College, Dublin. He was a member of the Royal Hibernian Academy of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, established in 1823.

Thomas Kirk sculpted numerous church memorials throughout Ireland often using his favourite relief, the Good Samaritan, which was thought to be well suited for memorials to doctors and clergymen. Kirk's earliest, and perhaps best known, commission was the statue of Lord Nelson which he created in 1809 for a monument in O’Connell Street Dublin which would be known as Nelson's Pillar. Throughout its life 'The Pillar' was always a controversial work of art. Some, such as William Butler Yeats, saw it as aesthetically unpleasing, others as simply an impediment to O'Connell Street traffic. The matter was brought to an explosive end in 1966 when the statue and the upper part of the Pillar was destroyed by a bomb planted by members of the I.R.A..

On 19 April 1845 Thomas Kirk died in Dublin; he is interred in this tomb on the right hand side of the main roadway into Mount Jerome Cemetery.

*Click on photographs to view larger version.
All Photographs ©Copyright J.Geraghty-Gorman 2011.
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