Kileely Old Graveyard, also known as St. Lelia’s. St. Lelia is believed to be Liadhain, a Dalcassian, the daughter of Diarmuid whose grandfather Cairtheann was converted to Christianity by St. Patrick. The feast to St. Lelia is held on the 11th August.
This is an ancient graveyard which once housed a church and roundtower, it fell out of common use in the 1850s due to sanitary concerns in the locality. During this period St. Bridget’s Graveyard opened at Watchhouse Cross and a few years later Mount Saint Lawrence opened. In the early 1900s the graveyard was officially closed, though it was often used as a children’s burial ground and families with long standing graves continue to use them to this day.
Overview of the Graveyard as it is today
1. Grave of Sylvester O’Halloran
This is the largest tomb in the graveyard dedicated to the renowned surgeon Sylvester O’Halloran. Interestingly the memorial is written in Latin.
2. Unknown Child Hart
This stones inscription is quite rough and appears not to have been created by a professional stone carver, it reads “…. HART HOW DIED APERL 29 1854 AGE 6 YERS MAY HIS SOUL RESS IN PACE AMEN”
3. Jane Brew Headstone
This headstone to Jane Brew who died in March 1894 aged 10 months, is embedded with shells forming the inscription.
4. John Hynes’ sons
This large ornate headstones makes the burial place of Thomas Hynes (ages 17 years in 1822) and John Hynes (age 15 years in 1831) the sons of John Hynes.
5. Arthur Grimes
This is one of the few readable headstone in the graveyard “SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF ARTHUR GRIMES DIED DECEMBER AGE 86 YEARS”
6. Time Symbolism
This extremely ornate headstone is illegible though the symbolism of the passage of time can still be seen, these include a moon and sun and an hour glass. There are also a trumpeter and angels.
7. McDonnnell Family
This is one of the most recent headstones in the graveyard with the last burial in 1980.
8. Irish Marker
This simple cross marker is inscribed in Irish. “O SEACNASAIG AGUS A CURUM”
9. Reynolds Family
This is decorated with an urn and shamrocks,erected by Patrick Reynolds to the memory of a father Patrick Reynolds (died 1865 aged 58) and a “moter” Catherine (died 1873 aged 36) and his 5 brothers.
10. Alias Wilkins
This flaking headstone marks the burial place of a much loved mother whose name is all but lost, though the heart below the cross is ever present.