SAINT KEVIN’S PARK
The first reference in historical annals to Saint Kevin’s Church is in 1226. The Church was situated in the Irish section of the city and the parish extended from the mouth of the Dodder to Milltown. In 1584 Archbishop Dermot Hurley was laid to rest in a secret grave within the church, having been executed for alleged treason. Bishop Rothe wrote in ‘Analecta Hibernia’ in 1609 that in view of the throngs of pilgrims to the grave and the remarkable occurrences there that the church was rebuilt and a special entrance made. A memorial to the Archbishop is situated at the south-eastern corner of the church.
In 1698 the parish was offered to the French Huguenots as a place of worship and a burial ground. Although the use of the church as a Catholic place of worship ceased under the penal legislation of Elizabeth and James I, the graveyard continued to be used by Catholics until the end of the 19th century. Over the years various reconstructions and additions to the church took place and the vestry was floored, while burials continued in the remaining sections. An archaeological excavation in 1967 uncovered some medieval family graves, coins and tiles from that period.
The church was restored in 1872 and was used as a place of worship until 1912. The church bell was sold for scrap in 1919 and the 18th century font in which the Duke of Wellington had been baptised was given to Taney church in Dundrum. In 1962 after long negotiations, the ruins of the church and the graveyard were transferred to Dublin Corporation and were developed as a park. Some of the headstones remain undisturbed and all others have been placed along the outer walls of the church and perimeter walls of the park.
THE KEOGH GRAVE
John Keogh, Mount Jerome, one of the founders of the Catholic Convention of 1792, died Nov. 13th 1817, aged 77.
Also his wife Mary, died Dec. 1st 1823, aged 66.
Also his father Cornelius Keogh, died August 19th 1774, aged 66.
Also his mother Abigail Keogh, died Sept. 20th 1779, aged 66.
Also his daughter Mary Keogh, died April 20th 1804, aged 18.
John Keogh was a successful businessman, and became a member of the Catholic committee seeking alleviation of Penal Laws in 1790. He was a close friend of Theobald Wolfe Tone and following his imprisonment in 1798 the cause was taken up by Daniel O’Connell.
THE MOORE GRAVE
John Moore Esq. Formerly Barrack Master at Islandbridge, (in the County of) Dublin, died Dec. 17th 1825, aged 84 (years).
Also Anastasia Moore, alias Coda, his wife, died May 8th 1832, aged 68.
Also six of their children who died young and their daughter Ellen, died Feb. 4th 1846.
Deeply mourned by her brother, Thomas Moore, the bard of his much beloved country, Ireland.
The Moores lived at 12 Aungier Street, where they ran a grocery business. Thomas, the eldest of the Moore children, attended Trinity College with Robert Emmett. He was renowned for his poetry and music and was lauded by Byron, Scott and Wordsworth. Thomas Moore had the headstone here erected for his parents and sisters.
THE DARCY GRAVE
Belongs to John Darcy, Brewer, Usher’s St.
His father, Mathew Darcy, died August 6th 1824.
Also his mother, Mrs Mary Darcy, died March 30th 1814.
Also his eldest brother, Arthur Darcy, died Sept. 7th 1823.
John Darcy was a popular Catholic businessman who died in 1825. Such was the scandal when the rector at St Kevin’s refused to allow Catholic prayers be said at the graveside that Daniel O’Connell used it to effect legislation establishing cemeteries at Goldenbridge and Glasnevin.
THE JOLY GRAVE
Jasper Joly, died Nov. 9th 1823, aged 84.
Also his wife Mary, died Dec. 13th 1825, qged 84.
Also Catherine, wife of Charles Joly of Harcourt Tce. Died Feb. 27th 1858, aged 43. Also Charles Joly.
Jasper Joly was a Captain in the Irish Volunteers in 1779 and is said to have hidden Lord Edward Fitzgerald in a well in his garden while he was on the run from English forces.
BLESSED DERMOT O’HURLEY ARCHBISHOP OF CASHEL 1531-1584 (see article yesterday)
FR JOHN AUSTIN SJ GRAVE (as transcribed by Bowden)
“To the memory of
Rev John Austin
Of the City of Dublin, a Priest,
And until the suppression of the Society of Jesus,
A professed Jesuit;
During six and thirty years
A pious learned and indefatigable labourer
In the vineyard (sic.) of the Lord.
Who after deserving well
Of the rich, whom he admonished,
Of the poor, whom he relieved,
Of youth, whom he instructed,
Of the orphan, to whom he was a father,
Of all ranks of men whom he,
By making himself all in all,
Was active in opening to Jesus Christ.
On the 29th September, 1784
Closed, in the 66 year of his age,
A life, worn out in the sight of the Lord.
Weeping for her faithful Minister,
On the 8th December 1786,
With grateful hand
Erected this monument”
John Austin was born in New Street in 1717. He was professed (as a priest) in 1750 and went on to establish a seminary in Saul’s Court, off Fishamble Street. He continued his preaching throughout the city for over thirty-five years and died aged 66 in 1784.
Perhaps the Parks Department along with the Jesuits might consider a tidy-up of the grave sign and surrounding this summer, in time for Fr Austin’s anniversary in September. It seems a while since any maintenance was undertaken.