Carrig Graveyard, Wexford, Ireland

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

5 thoughts on “Carrig Graveyard, Wexford, Ireland

  1. What a moving scene. I love the quote, it eloquently describes my feelings after reading your historical overview. What sort of emotion does the place evoke in you, being able to actually visit there?
    By the way, it’s good to have you back! How’re things?

    • Ah thanks Tiege, hope yer well. Unfortunately just been busy as hell for a short stint with work thats hopefully coming to an end soon, the good thing is that its allowed me to get around Ireland a bit more so have so much to publish. Anyway, I have visited Carrig twice and in very different weather, its so encapsulated in nature its almost kind of hard to fully take it in. Its such a mish mash of burials you can really sense the age, but the place does seem to attract a lot of people and had some life around it. Obviously the small walk down to it does feel poignant and I couldnt help but think of the fallen heros of the 1798 rebellion and feel grateful for what they tried to do.

      • Ugh I know the feeling of being overworked. Glad you’ve been able to utilize the time for your art!
        Im also glad that there is typically a lot of visitors to pay respects at Carrig. I’m Irish American, so I don’t have a full understanding of the subject perhaps, but it makes me feel like the sacrifice of the buried men is more uplifting and less saddening that way.
        I’m looking forward to more output you’ve got in store! Btw, tried commenting on previous posts but see they didn’t go through…? Huh.

      • Thats very strange as they didnt seem to even go into spam or come across my radar at all?! I understand what you mean re possibly not fully understanding the subject but I’m sure you do more than most, Ive just always felt that its a real pity the 1798 rebellion didnt succeed as it would have led to a different pathway for Ireland based more on fraternity and brotherhood of a republic than the religious intolerance and sectarianism that came from the ongoing struggle into the 19th-21st centuries.

  2. Ya it’s weird. I got an email about your new post but nothing comes up on the WordPress reader app! I had to search for visions of the past to get to it. 🫤

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.