It’s often that with vain regret we think on things we’ve seen;
We’ve seen the past but can’t forget and mourn what might have been;
As we strayed along the sweet birds’ song was ringing in the sky,
O’er the lonely graves in Carrig where the ninety-eight men lie”
– Written by James Nolan & James McGrath of Hill Street, Wexford Town. c.1890.
Carrig Graveyard just outside Wexford Town is most well known as the final resting place of a significant number of local United Irishmen who died or were executed as part of the 1798 Irish Rebellion. The graveyard is a peaceful and reflective place, its short tree lined pathway adding much to it aesthetic. Many of the casualties buried in the graveyard fell during an attack by crown forces on United Irishmen camped nearby at ‘the Three Rocks’. Men on both sides were interred in Carrig Graveyard including Lieutenant Colonel Jonas Watson who was killed in action on May 30th 1798 during his assault on the Irish Forces. The graveyard is also home to the scant remains of the medieval church of St. Nicholas though all that can be seen is its very low walls and entranceway. The remains of the church are mentioned in the ordnance survey of 1841 but according to John O Donovan who conducted much of this survey the windows, doorways and walls were already in the ruined state. The graveyard contains a wide variety of grave markers and headstones, the visible ones dating from the 18th to the 20th century. The graveyard was also once used as a final resting place for babies who had died through stillbirth, miscarriage or in early infancy and a moving memorial to mark this was placed near its entrance in 1992.
GPS: 52.34326, -6.51024