St Patrick’s Church Killowen, Kerry, Ireland

St Patrick’s is a ruined Church of Ireland structure built in a Georgian Gothic Revival style situated in Killowen, just outside the town of Kenmare in Kerry. The majority of the church that can be seen today was built in 1814 or more so was rebuilt at that time as attested to on a limestone plaque on the south wall of the tower, the date of construction of the original church is unknown. The church was not in use for an extensive period of time as it was replaced by another building closer to Kenmare in 1856 due to the increasing number of Protestant worshippers in the area.

The earliest visible graves date from the late 18th century and continue to the present day. One of the most notable graves is that of Ernest John Moeran an English born composer of Anglo-Irish extraction who was buried in the graveyard in 1950. Moeran was a renowned composer in the 1920s however much of his life was complicated by his alcoholism that continued throughout his life. He was a collector of English and Irish folk music and fell in love with the area around Kenmare. His work was sporadic throughout his life, sometimes feeling unable to write due to the effects of his addiction. He was married in 1945 to a long standing acquaintance and cellist named Kathleen Peers Coetmore, the marriage initially gave him some stability and happiness, however Coetmore was an in demand cellist and spent much of her time travelling. In 1949 Morean made one last attempt for treatment for his alcoholism however it was in vain, he began to feel he was loosing his mind and returned to live in Kenmare after living in Dublin during the early part of 1950. On the 1st of December 1950 Moeran left his cottage during a storm and walked along the Kenmare pier where he was seen falling into the water, at first it was believed to have been a suicide but a postmortem indicated a cerebral haemorrhage. Moeran died aged fifty five his gravestone reads, ‘He lies in the mountain country he loved so well’.

GPS: 51.88407, -9.56835

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