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Published: July 30th 2016
Our last full day in Ireland and we are going to take another day trip via Rathmore to see if we can find the elusive graveyard where my great grandparents the Mahoney’s of Knocknagree are buried.
The lack of internet connection at our stone farm cottage has been frustrating and of course any time we have wanted to do something that requires a connection we have had to drive down to Den Joes or find a tourist information centre or library. The days of the internet cafe that used to be in almost every town have gone with mobile connections via the cell phone taking over the simple tasks that most people want and that is to check emails or Facebook.
Rather than look obvious parking outside Den Joes again and using their free internet we went to the Castleisland library to connect there.
Unfortunately their wifi was down but the librarian logged us onto a computer that was as slow as what we remembered dial up to be and we checked the emails.
Our plan today is to travel to the town of Killarney about 20kms away and have a walk through the market town and
find a pub for a last Irish lunch and a pint of Guinness. Then head onto nearby Muckross Lake and take a 4km loop walk around park of the lake and to a waterfall. We are fairly sure that this walk won’t be anything like the 3 peaks hike of Saturday and if it looks like turning into some similar then we will call it off and return on the trail we have come along.
Then we will return home via Rathmore for that one last look for the graveyard.
We parked on the edge of the market town of Killarney and took a couple of hours worth of parking time.
Finding a pub with bar food was fairly easy, as you might expect in this part of the world!
We were a little after the lunchtime rush so the service was quick and efficient although we did have enough time to troll the internet using the pub free wifi for the graveyards at Rathmore just to check we had covered them all.
It was then that we discovered there was one other graveyard in the immediate area and in fact just off the road
between Rathmore and Knocknagree that is not marked with any directional signs yet we had driven past it twice already.
The Historic Graveyard website had all the graveyards in Rathmore listed and there was the one at Lower Nohoval which had the listing we had been looking for.
The Guinness tasted so much better having found out there was one more graveyard to visit and that it was here we would really tread in the footsteps of my ancestors!
The day was turning out quite warm as the cloud had cleared away and we gave the idea of another walk away preferring instead to get to the Lower Nohoval graveyard and find the location of the grave.
We were becoming pretty familiar with the roads in the area and it didn’t take us long from Killarney to locate the narrow rural road and shortly thereafter the old graveyard lodged in between fields of grazing cows.
There is a long history of people living in Nohoval back as far as 556AD although the graves that have been identified don’t go back anywhere near that far.
We were looking for a Celtic cross and there were
about 20 of them in the graveyard. So it was a matter of us taking one side each of the graveyard and systematically reading the inscriptions on each one.
This was easier said than done as none of them gave up the names with a casual look. Instead we had to get close to the headstone writing and run our fingers across the letters to try and make out the names.
At the rear of the graveyard I found a Celtic cross that appeared to be the one we were looking for but we couldn’t be sure. The grave was also probably too far back in the graveyard as the one in the photo on the website where the inscription was recorded was closer to a tree at the entrance to the graveyard.
Then we spotted one we hadn’t checked and it was in the right position in line with the tree as in the photo.
And sure enough this was the right one! Eureka! at last some success.
Buried in the site are my great grandparents Michael who died in 1901 and his wife Kate who died in 1876 plus Michael’s parents Timothy and
Ellen who died in 1830 and 1866 respectively plus his sister Ellen who died in 1887.
It was quite moving to have found their final resting place and perhaps being the first of the New Zealand connection to have visited this place.
We returned home to the cottage well satisfied with the find of the graveyard especially after thinking on Monday that our searching had been fruitless.
We have an early start to drive the hour and a half or so to Cork and give ourselves enough time to return the rental car and get checked in for our 11.40am flight to London and the start of phase 4 of the BBA V3,the England, Scotland and Wales final leg.
PS:Some more local flavour with that great crooner Bing Crosby who thought of Ireland as his second home as he sings about that great little town of Killarney.On Youtube as usual.
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