Parish graveyards


A Short History by Ballynacally I.C.A.

Clondegad cemetery is situated in the barony of the islands beside the Owenslieve river. There is evidence iClondagad Church and Graveyardn the area to suggest a very early settlement and it was once the focal point of the parish of Clondegad. O’Donovan believed that an earlier church existed on the site of the present protestant ruins which date to 1809. Local folklore tells us that the oldest stone in Clondegad dates to 1686. It is also recorded in ‘Antiquities of County Clare” by John O’Donovan and Eugene O’Curry in 1839 that on a stone inserted in the wall was the following inscription: “Within this burial place lies interred the body of George Ross, Esq., who was the founder thereof. He died on the 19th May 1700, in the 79th year of his age. This monument was erected the same year by his kinsman, Mr. Robert Harrison”. No trace of this stone was found during the recent survey.

Clondegad Church and Graveyard

In all 152 inscriptions are recorded for Clondegad. There are some worthy of note:- the Whitstone Vault, the graves of the Reverend Canon O’Shaughnessy, thirty years P.P. of Clondegad who died in 1846, the slab stone on Tho. Wright who died in 1777 which has interesting carvings including a hammer and anvil and also the grave of John Daly.


A Short History by Ballynacally I.C.A.

The united parishes of Kilchreest and Clondegad is the historical name for what is now known as the Parish of Ballynacally/Lissycasey. Kilchreest means the Church of Christ and the cemetery surrounding the ruins of the old church is now the principal burial ground in the Ballynacally area of the parish. In the foundation charter of Clare Abbey dating from 1189, Kilchrist is listed among the lands owned by the Augustinian Canons, and it was administered during the later middle ages by their monastery on Canon Island. Kilchreest was suppressed at the time of the Reformation.

Kilchreest Church and Graveyard
Kilchreest Church and Graveyard

The ruins in Kilchreest date from the fifteenth century and are in a well preserved state. The old church is an impressive building, even in its roofless state and it suppresses all the contemporary parish churches in West Clare. It measures 72ft 3ins long and 23ft 3ins wide. The entrance door on the south wall is pointed and has a double-oped stoup or holy water font in the right hand jamb. This feature is found in a number of late medieval churches in Clare. There is also a second narrower doorway on the same wall. The east window is pointed with two interesting shafts and is well preserved.

Four hundred and seventy six inscriptions are recorded for Kilchreest, the oldest dating to 1700 A.D. It must be noted that there were a number of inscriptions which it was impossible to decipher. It is a non-denominational cemetery as the Reverend Canon W. Waugh, Rector of Clondegad and Kildysart was buried here in 1923. Members of the Ball family of Fortfergus also lie here. Mention has to be made of the ornamentation on some graves in particular A37 and C99.

New extension to Kilchreest Graveyard 2015kilchreest graveyard

Mass for the blessing of the new Kilchreest Graveyard images (here)

Audio of the KilchreestGraveyard Mass (here) (Grave blessing at 20:30 minutes)

more info to follow later when available



A Short History by Ballynacally I.C.A.

Killea, which is situated off the road between the Factory Cross and Ballyea Church is mentioned in ‘Antiquities of County Clare’ by O’Donovan in 1839 - “There is a small burial ground in the townland of Lisheen called Cille - Aodha or the Church of Hugh”.

According to tradition Killea was originally a children’s burial ground. These burial grounds were known as CillĂ­ns and were usually located in remote areas on level ground surrounded by rougher terrain.

Over time adults were buried at Killea. The cemetery was extended and was fenced in with a paling. During Canon O’Reilly’s time as P.P. a clean-up of the cemetery was undertaken. More recently a road leading to the cemetery and a car park have been completed by voluntary labour. For the first time in living memory Mass was celebrated in Killea in July 2008.



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You can see the extensive work carried out in the listing of graves on the Clare library's site.

Click below and look for the clondegad listings in the left column



New Extension to Kilchreest graveyard on the left