Not many people realize that the old Protestant Graveyard in Swinford even exists! The Graveyard is located just off Davitt Place at the back of Church view, in the heart of Swinford town. Late last year a local TÚS scheme started work in the old graveyard and they have done tremendous work there. It was badly overgrown and in a poor state.
There is a huge amount of history in the graveyard (as is in any graveyard) and there used to be an old Church on the site, but sadly this had been demolished many years ago. There is a lot of work to be done to clear out all the overgrowth, which has sadly overtaken the whole area. What has been cleared so far has reveled some gems. One of which is the unusual way this tree has grown around this old grave.
This is a project I will be following (being involved with Swinford Tidy Towns) and I’ll be back again to photograph many of the hidden gems that is yet to be uncovered. Although it was a very bright day when I visited, one of the few we get, it was very shaded here and quite difficult to get the shot. I used flash full power (which blew out the foreground) f/4, 1/50sec, iso-100, @18mm. Lens used was my 18-50 sigma f/2.8. I also used contrast and colour boost in PP.
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A friend has just visited the graveyard and sent me a pic of a memorial stone to Anthony Brabazon. Does anyone have the complete inscription on the stone? I can only make out a few words. Also, there was a shallow pit from which I extricated the memorial plaque to Sir William Brabazon some years ago – have the remaining plaques (about 6, I think) been recovered?
There has been a scheme working there for the last few months to restore the Graveyard to its proper condition so that tourists and locals can visit the Graveyard. Mayo County Council as part of their draft plan to 2020 are taking all the graveyards over to restore and maintain them. As far as I know those plaques were indeed found and were put in storage for safe keeping to be returned to the graveyard in the future.
One of the men that was working on the scheme took great interest in the history of the graveyard and has taken a load of photos from the start. I have only a few photos taken from midway through the project. I only live about 500 yards from the Graveyard and will be going back again to take more photos. I would be grateful if you could pass on any historical information that you might have. You can contact me directly by the contact form on the site here.