Category Archives: Longford Leader 2013

Tubberpatrick Cemetery and restored stations of the cross

A north Longford cemetery was arguably the place to be last Sunday afternoon as local parishioners turned up in their dozens to witness a small slice of history taking place.

 

Tubberpatrick Cemetery was the venue not just for the perennial blessing of graves.

It was also the day which brought the curtain down on many months of diligent, behind the scenes work on restoring the cemetery’s age-old Stations of the Cross.

Despite the somewhat erratic weather conditions at times, worshippers stood silently, many of them visibly moved by the sheer volume of work that had been undertaken by a 17-strong commmittee.

One of those members and local Cllr John Duffy led the tributes.

Edward Foster, another north Longford resident, was complemented for his help in providing timber based supplies. Maurice Lenord was likewise singled out for his scuplting capabilities in restoring the stations. So too were the Conefrey’s, John Dolan, community employment scheme workers and others.

Even the Fine Gael representative’s opposite number, Fianna Fail Cllr Luie McEntire got a mention for “working the oracle” in getting Longford County Council to row in behind the project.“I would like to pay tribute to Luie,” said Cllr Duffy. “I hope he would pay tribute to me also.”

Tongue-in-cheek it may have been, there was no denying the sense of pride and mild contentment that was clearly evident within the rocky surrounds of Longford’s oldest cemetery last Sunday.

Two figures who tried their best to steer clear of the limelight were committee chairperson Peter Cosgrove and its secretary Peggy Kiernan.

Cllr Duffy, with what appeared to be a pre-prepared speech in hand, was clearly having none of it.

“Peter led the team with great vigour,” he said, pointing out Peter’s other gratuitous role in donating a parcel of land to help with the work.

The man at the centre of it looked humbled. Fellow committee member Peggy Kiernan gave off similar vibes as attention came her way.

“Without Peggy, the committee wouldn’t have worked the way it did,” said Cllr Duffy.

“She was what you would call the brains behind the operation.”

The stations themselves are dedicated to the memory of Rev Laurence Cosgrove of St Paul’s, Minnesota who originally donated them to the north Longford parish over 100 years ago in 1911.

His brother, Michael was the man tasked with transporting the heavy sculptures from the former Arva Road Railway station by means of a horse and cart.

As reported previously, the Tubberpatrick restoration has resulted in its nomination for a national community based award.

Fronted by regional newspapers, the Leader hand-picked the project for the ‘Get Involved’ accolade a number of weeks ago.

Judging has already commenced on some proposals which is chaired by renowned architect and environmentalist Duncan Stewart.

The results of that evaluation will be made known on September 12 with a special ceremony in Áras an Uactaráin and a meeting with President Michael D Higgins.

Whether Tubberpatrick Cemetery and its dedicated committee of volunteers are included in that line-up, only time will tell.

All in the name of community spirit

From small beginnings come great things.

It’s the byword locals from the tight-knit parish of community will no doubt be brooding over this Sun-day (August 11, from 1pm) as parishioners celebrate the unveiling of Tubberpatrick Cemetery’s restored stations of the cross.

The 14 hand crafted sculptures have been steadily remodelled over the past two years, led by a 15 strong committee and its chairman Peter Cosgrove. The north Longford native had always longed to refurbish the near 100 year old stations after several years of wear and tear.

“I don’t want to be taking the credit for this,” he said modestly. “All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the work of our committee and local people who gave very generous donations.”

The stations themselves are dedicated to the memory of Rev Laurence Cosgrove of St Pauls, Minnesota who originally donated them to the north Longford parish over 100 years ago in 1911. Members of the Tubberpatrick Restoration Committee. His brother, Michael was the man tasked with transporting the heavy sculptures from the former Arva Road Railway sta-tion by means of a horse and cart. From there, the story sur-rounding the stations goes cold. That was until former Moyne CS principal James McInerney penned the much acclaimed ‘Well of St Patrick’ in 2000. Three years later, Dromard welcomed Maurice Lenord into its community, a man with extensive restorative experience. With that expertise add-ed and a committee formed, work began on bringing the stations back to their former glory. Land, courtesy of Peter was kindly donated, the road widened and resurfaced, a fence erected and poles removed. County Council staff helped out as did FAS workers, a real community effort according to Peter.

“The response was amazing. Sunday wouldn’t be happening otherwise,” he said.

It’s also a day that has resulted in the group’s selection for a major community newspaper Get Involved Award. That, according to Peter, would be a bonus. For now, the focus is all about this Sunday and seeing the best part of two years voluntary efforts finally realised.