Introduction                                                   - Craig Lovett
The Genealogical Centre                               - Shaneice Cribbin
The Library                                                    - Karl O’Reilly
Existing Ruins                                               - Craig Lovett
Tombstones & Cure                                       - Jamie Byrd & Christopher Tobin
The O’Reillys                                                  - Heather Nixon &  Karl O’Reilly
The Callery Family                                         - Karl O’Reilly
The Wiltons                                                    - Heather Nixon
The Missing Headstone                                 - Kane Shirley
The Floating Graves                                      - Jamie Byrd
The New Chapel                                             - Rachel Rennix
Breifne Journal                                             - Craig Lovett & Karl O’Reilly
Peter Brady                                                     - Ryan Conaty & Craig Lovett
Patsy Lanauze                                                - Karl O’Reilly
Mons McManus                                            - Louise Callan
Cannon Sides                                                 - Heather Nixon
Pictures                                                           - By Everyone
Michael McGivney                                         - Jamie Byrd & Karl O’Reilly
Maggie Brady                                                 - Orlaith Cusack & Karl O’Reilly
Bridgie Harten                                               - Louise Callan
Maura Smith & Tesey Lynch                        - Ryan Conaty & Jamie Byrd
Pictures                                                           - By Everyone
My Thoughts                                                  - 4th, 5th & 6th Classes
Conclusion                                                     - By Everyone
The information we used we got from The History of Kilnaleck,  The Drumkilly Book,  Breffni 2000 Vol 1 x No 36, Breffni Review,  The History of Oldcastle.  The Internet/Lycos site.  The Breffni Society1927, and local interviews.

Our project is on Kill graveyard.  Kill graveyard is one of the oldest heritage sites in our area.  It is situated one mile from our school in the village of Kilnaleck.  It proved to be an obvious choice for our project as it has quite an extensive history.  The main reason we decided on Kill Graveyard for our project was because we heard exciting tales about it and we were all eager to investigate further.
Kill Graveyard was a well known milestone to a lot of people both far and near, especially the older generation.  Our main aims where to research its great history, get out into the community and visit this older generation and locals to hear their stories and views on the cemetery and finally to work as a team and express our own views and thoughts.
So turn the page and we’ll bring you on a journey through its past and introduce you to the colourful characters we met and befriended.

By Craig Lovett
5th Class

The Genealogical Center

On Tuesday the 10th May, Craig, Jamie, Rachel, Louise, Karl, Orlaith and I went to the Genealogical Center to look up the history of Families buried in Kill Graveyard.  The person we met was Mary Sullivan, a genealogicalist, Mary studies the history of families.  The information she gave us was great.  The Genealogical center was set up in 1988.  They got their information from church records.  In 1828 records where written in Latin, in book form.  These books where given to the genealogical center and the information was put on cards.  Mary showed us this room full of cards.  There was box for each parish.  Mary told us that civil records were a must on the 1-1-1864 for every parish. Before this the Protestants church was the state church and they always kept records.  She told us a story of a catholic priest’s family who owned a shop.  When he died the family used his records to wrap customer’s goods.  In Crosserlough the records date back to 1843.

One of the parish Books in Latin

This is the room full of information cards

Mary showing us around, this is the old computer room

This is the Page from the Census Book .
census book

This is the room where all the Census information
Information is kept for every parish.

This is the more up to date computer room where all records are kept.  We looked up the Lanauze deaths here.

By Shaneice Cribbin – 4th Class 

The County Library – by Karl O’Reilly
We went to the library to see if we could find any interesting information on Kill graveyard.  I went with Shanice Cribbin, Kane Sherley and Jamie Byrd.  When we got there a man told us we needed to speak to Tom Sullivan in the Reference Section.  In the reference section there was books on nearly every town in County Cavan. Some of the books were really old. 
We got a very detailed piece on The O’Reilly’s and the old ruins.  Tom also told us that the locals of Kilnaleck would probably be able to help us with their knowledge or memories of Kill graveyard.

Kane, Jamie, me and Shanice outside the County Library.

Tom Sullivan going through books that he thought might help us with our project.

Existing Ruins – Craig Lovett
The old church of Kildrumferton, situated in a prominent position on an
elevated site from which the townland takes its name, is now in ruins.
Kildrumferton or Cill Druim Feartain means the church on the hill of the graves.  There was a church here since 550A.D.  The existing ruins are not from this period as the church has been rebuilt and altered over the centuries.  The building is rectangular, measuring 57 feet in length by 27 in width.  The west end and gable are in ruins, but the east gable and side walls are in good preservation.  A doorway, together with two windows the arches of which are now broke are on the south wall. The east gable displays a wall preserved window in pointed gothic.  No traces of a window are to be found on the north wall.  The featured picture shows the ruined church viewed from the west.  A few ash trees are growning in the interior of the church.  Within the western enclosure is the elevated tomb of the Wilton family, with the capstone broken.
In the 18th and early 19th centuries the church was used for prodestant services until the present prodestant church, in the townland of Carrickacroy, was erected early in the last century.  It was then used as a school house, and finally abandoned about a century ago.

Both prodestants and catholics are buried in this extensive graveyard.  It is used as a catholic burial ground to this day.
Artist impression

The Ruins Today

The shape of the Gothic Window

The Thombstones & Cure
Jamie Byrd & Christopher Tobin

The cemetery contains many tombs of great interest.  The O’Reillys of Baltrasna have two, both facing north to south.  The tomb farthest from the entrance gate is the more elaborate, and records the name of Colonel John O’Reilly who was elected “Knight of the Shier” for the County of Cavan in the year 1689, and who died on the 17th February 1717.  The second tomb has a lenghty inscription which also records the name of the same Colonel John O’Reilly.  Why his name should be inscribed on both, and under which of them he rests, nobody knows.  People still speculate over which grave he is in.
Another O’Reilly tomb is near the old church ruins.  It has no inscription, but according to local tradition it was specially construted for a lady O’Reilly who died in Dublin about a century ago.
The inscribed horrizontal slabs marking the burial place of the Smith Family of Garrymore, have the Smith Coat of arms displayed together with the motto – Tenebras expellet et Hostes . Here it is pointed out by local tradition the grave, of a Father Smith evidently belonging to this Family.  His name is not recorded on any of the slabs, but he may have been identical with the Father Terence Smith who was P.P in 1704.  The clay from his grave is still believed to have healing powers.
In his life, Fr Terence Smith earned a reputation as a healer.  The Bishop of Kilmore at the time had reservation about his work and he
communicated them to Fr. Smith.  Fr Smith had a light overcoat on his arm when he went into the Bishops sittingroom and met the bishop.  A Sunbeam shone in the window and the priest hung his overcoat on the sunbeam.  Immediately the Bishop accepted the situation and allowed Fr Smith to continue his healing ministry.  Tradition says that Fr Smith told the bishop that the clay of this bones would carry on his healing work after he had passed on.
The details of how to carry out the cure are displayed in a frame behind the altar in the new church..  Interestingly it states “Blessed Clay from the grave of Father Peter Smith”  Some locals say Father Peter Smith while  others say Father Terence Smith, which is correct we do not know.

To Carry out the cure one must do the following:
1.    Blessed clay can be lifted at any time of the day
2.    Lift 3 small amounts of blessed clay in separate containers.
3.    Sleep on a different piece of blessed clay each night for three nights.
4.    Say the prayers below when lifting of and returning the clay and each night of use.
5.    Return the blessed clay to the grave on the fourth day.
The Prayers are
5 – Our Fathers
5 – Hail Mary’s
5 – Glory be to the Fathers
1 – Apostles Creed
Then say this prayer – May the Lord have Mercy on the soul of Father Peter Smith and grant (name of person) the benefit of his clay.

The writing on the Slab stone of  the Smith Family

The Cure

The O’Reilly Graves
In the O’Reilly Tomb is buried Colonel John O’Reilly, who fought at the battle of the Boyne in 1691 and Aughrim in 1691.  He died in 1717 and was a son of Myles “The Slasher”
“Myles the Slasher”, the sonof Brian and Mary (Plunket) O’Reilly was born in 1600’s. His mother was the daughter of Baron Dunsany while his father was the son of John and Catherien (Butler) O’Reilly.
Myles is traditionally identified with”Myles the Slasher” who is said to have taken part in the engagement at the Bridge of Finea, on the River Inny in the summer of 1644, and to have been killed there.  There was, however, another tradition that Myles was not killed at Finea – that he escaped by spurring his charger over the battlement and afterwards went to France where he died.  While we may accept that he fought at the Battle of Finea, there are several reasons for believing he was not killed there, one in particular is that he had 3 sons and 2 daughters  John, Edmund and Philip and Honora and Rose.  John been Colonel John O’Reilly who died in 1717 aged 70, and the battle of Finea was in 1644, 73 years previous. This shows that Myles had his family after the Battle of Finea.
Thus it is believed that Myles “the Slasher” may have been confused with another Colonel Myles O’Reilly.  With the absence of an obituary date, it presents an elusive historical problem which awaits further investigation.
By Heather Nixon 6th  Class

This is the two O’Reilly Tomb of which it is not sure which one Colonel John O’Reilly is in.

This is the other O’Reilly Vault  known as the Floating Grave.

The Callery Family - By Karl O’Reilly
While looking through the graveyard we came across a headstone of a
Callery Family.  It said erected by Peter for his beloved children.

Judeth died 26/3/1831 or 1837 age 14
Michal died 2/10/1837 age 26
Catherine died 1/1/1838 age 20
Ellen died 1/1/1838 age 13
Anne died 28/2/1838 age 16
William died 27/2/1849 age 19
Rose died 26/5/1849 age 21

This was a copy of the page we got at the Genealogical Centre in Cavan.

Our search on this Headstone brought us to the Genealogical Centre in
Cavan, to a Mary Sullivan a genealogist.  She took the Census of the 1800’s
out for the Parish of Crosserlough and she found a Callery Family spelt
with a K in Aughawee. Peter aged 38 a farmer of 20 acres, Bridget age 37
Flax spinner, Judeth age 10, Catherine 8, Anne 12, Mary 14 a flax
spinner, Michal 16 a laborer.  It did not mention Ellen, William or Rose
and Mary says that maybe they were not born or where not in the house
when the census was been done.  There is no death records for the 1830’s
so what they died off we do not know but illnesses like TB and Cholera
were really bad then and this is probably what they died off.  The child
 Mary mentioned in the census is not on the headstone so maybe the
illnesses did not kill her.

The Wilton Story
By Heather Nixon 6th Class
While looking up details on the internet for Kill Graveyard, I put Kildrumferton in the search box and a page came up about The Wilton Pages.
a.hutchinson/cosby_wilton was someone who was looking up his or her family tree and had come over to Ireland to do so.  I don’t know where this person is from but the history of their family  brought them to Kill graveyard, and it says.
Cosby Wilton – Who was he? And the answer so far is that I haven’t a clue.  The first indication I had to this gentleman’s existence was a list of baptisms from Kildrumferton parish records:-
It was when I was searching for the grave of my g.g.g.g grandfather Roger Wilton in Kildurmferton that I was told of the existence of a very old graveyard in the townland of Kill.  This is a  mixed catholic and protestand cemetery and the ruined church dates from early Christian times.  Also in Kildrumferton records I came across the occcasional entry of a death to a Wilton which said “Buried in Kill”
As I Said Kill is quite an ancient place and its history is well documented.  It contains the graves of many of the O’Reilly’s who were the Irish landlords before the Plantation of Ulster and it was here that I found the grave of Cosby Wilton along with other Wilton’s.  The graves of the other
Wilton’s lie beside the tomb of Cosby, they are totally unmarked and their existence is only obvious whenever the undergrowth is cleared away.  I would not have known that they were graves if it was not for references to various burials in Kildrumferton Parish records.
The inscriptions on the headstones have been documented in Breifne Journal Vol 11 No 8 1966 pages 445-459
Cosby Wilton’s tomb is quite substantial and it has been vandalised sometime in the past.  Local rumour varies to as why this occurred and several versions exist as to the cause. 1.He may have been involved in the hanging of a particularly vocal nationslist priest during the 1798 rebellion.  2. The priest and Cosby had been drinking and challenged each other to a horse race. During the race whenever the priest was leading cosby attempted to hit him with his whip.  The unfortunate priest fell off his horse and was killed.  The truth as ever in Ireland is elusive and I am led to believe that whatever version is true depends on your particular religious/political view.
It also states that Cosby Wiltons tomb is sitting on top of a crypt.
This was the story I got from the Internet about the Wiltons buried in Kill Graveyard.

This is a picture taken by the person I found on the internet.

The Witon Tombs as they are today.


The Missing Headstone
By Kane Shirley 5th Class
In some of the writings there was an article about a missing headstone and the great mistery surronding the whereabouts of it.  It stated, a massive horizontal slab, sunk in the clay marks the grave of Rev. Dr Hugh Edmund O’Reilly, who was vicar-general of Kilmore.  Dr O’Reilly suffered much during the puritan regime and died in 1688.  The inscription now only partly legible reads

                           “ Dom Dom Hugo Caroli
                             Eugeni Terenti EDM
                             Undi O’Reilly ……
                             6 Aug Anno Do 1688”

It also describes the inscribtion on it,  near the head of which is an incised cross and underneath which is depicted a rosary.  Near the bottom of the slab a spade and hammer are displayed and between both is a skull and crossbones. The initials M.R probably refer to Mylers Reilly( who had the monument erected)
I got this information from the libarary and a local book.

The Floating Coffins
By Jamie Byrd 5th Class

In this graveyard there are two floating coffins.  Buried in these graves there is a mother and her daughter.  The mother died giving birth to her child.  The mother was married to one of the O’Reillys from Baltrasna house.  The mother was a lower class of the O’Reillys.  The O’Reillys did not agree on burying her in their plot.  The mother and her daughter were put in a vault.  The undertaker did not know that they were buried on a spring.  Therefore the coffins started to float.  People from all over the country came to see them.  People that lived beside the graveyard decided to close it up because it was too treacherous.  Even to this day you can see the coffins float on a full moon.
We went down to see the floating graves one night.  You need a torch.  When you look in you can see the two coffins.  They are in good condition.  The mothers coffin is broken but only a bit..   The baby coffin is perfect.  You can see the handles of both coffins but there is no writing to be seen on either.  The coffins are both under water and there seems to be a lot of rubbish thrown in.  The head of the mothers coffin is facing north west and the head of the babies coffin is facing south east.  There is a gate to the back of the vault.  It was a unusual feeling seeing this grave or vault in particular.

The New Chapel
 By Rachel Rennix 6th Class.

The new chapel was built in 1988 by residents of Kill such as Tommy O’Reilly, Dennis, Peter and Michael McGivney.  They took stone from the old chapel ruins and used them in the construction of the new one.  Monsignor McManus asked my grandfather, Frank Rennix, to make an altar.  He instead donated the materials (marble, limestone brick) which he received from an old altar in the Cathedral in Longford and asked my father, Des Rennix to actually make it.  A lot of hard work and effort was put into the building of the little chapel.  Every 15th August mass is said there before the Blessing of the Graves.  It is Franks birthday that day and the priest often mentions him during the mass.

From Huguenots To Cromwell – A local Interview
 By Ryan Conaty & Craig Lovett 5th Class.

One of the best known characters in Kilnaleck, a man called Peter Brady very kindly took us to visit Kill Graveyard.  He proved to be very knowledgeable and we focussed on a few graves in particular.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank him for being so helpful and for sparing us the time to conduct our interview.  Of interest to us where the Lanauze, O’Reilly & Callery graves.  The Following is an overview of these family plots in his own words.
The Huguenots were French Protestants who came to Ireland mainly between 1660 and 1700.  They were known as Calvinists.  Calvinism is a strict form of Protestantism and leave to practice it was banned in France.  They were welcomed in Ireland and were gentle and hard working.  They went mainly into weaving, banking, trades or the linen industry, but some, a smaller number went into farming.  The La Nauze family belonged to the last group.  The subsequently owned a large tract of land in the Kill and Kilnaleck area and were in fact landlords but much smaller than the Maxwell’s or Booth-Bells.  George Lanauze, the present Patsy’s Great Grandfather, arrived in Kill in the 1850’s having lived at Killeshandra where the family had settled much earlier.  He remained Protestant until a week before he died but his son converted to Catholicism as a young boy.
Large tombs:  The largest tomb was the O’Reilly Family of Baltrasna near Oldcastle and at least one of Myles O’Reillys sons is buried here.
It is believed that the Church was destroyed by Cromwell in 1649 by firing a cannon ball from Ardleny Hill.
                  “That’s where Cromwell bald, alas,
                   Shot down the priest while reading mass
                   …….and all the congregation there,
  not one of  them did he spare”
The above is a verse of a song.  The Author or the date of its composition is unknown.  With on radio, newspapers,T.V, Telephone or internet the song or poem was an acceptable means of recording great events and particularly tragedies.
A Family called Callery are buried here.  It is believed that they all died within a week.  It is thought the cause of deaths was tuberculosis, but it could have been Cholera, dysentery or smallpox.  The Family lived in Aughawee.
Finally  we asked Peter if he had any suggestions on how he would like to see this graveyard being maintained and why once again in his own words he gives us his comments.

Kill cemetery is the best known and loved religious, historical and heritage site in the Kilnaleck area, not alone the people of the area, but many visitors from all over Ireland and abroad come to visit every year.  In view of this there is urgent need for improvement in the cemetery itself and surrounding facilities.
1.    The grass is much too long and untidy and should be cut every few weeks in the spring and summer periods.  This can be done by FAS.
2.    Crosserlough parish council should be contacted to request Cavan County Council to improve car par and install toilet facilities.
3.    A scheme should be introduced involving local committees, Cavan County Council, FAS, and the parish council with the aim of cleaning all the old headstones and where possible, making the inscriptions legible.
4.    Plagues and information signboards should be erected giving people information on the cemetery’s history.
5.    The history of the graveyard should be written up and made available to the general public in leaflet or brochure form.
Peter, we hope our small project on the graveyard will go a little way forward in recording the history of this graveyard.
This is the Lanauze Plot.

Patsy Lanauze “My Memories” – By Karl o Reilly
I interviewed Patsy because he is one of the Lanauzes .
Kill  Graveyard is one of the oldest graveyards in the country.  The ruins of the old church were first a catholic chapel.  It was then converted to a protestant church and later then a school.
The two Floating coffins as was told were an Australian mother and child.  I dont know anything more about their history.
The two cut stone vaults belong to the O Reilly of Baltrasna of Oldcastle.
The Lanauze Railing are in place since 1854 approx and that’s when the first Lanauzes arrived to Kill and he was Landlord of the most of the town of Kilnaleck and the townland of Kill.  This man was my Great Grandfather.  He is buried along with his son John and grandson Patrick in this Plot.
There is also a grave of a Priest Fr Smith.  This priest when alive cured a lot of people different illnesses in a time when Doctors were scarce.   He reassured people that after his death people would still be cured by sleeping on his grave for  a specific length of time.
One other final thing concerning the chapel,  it is supposed that Oliver Cromwell blew the roof of the chapel with a cannonball shot from Ardleny hill during mass one Sunday.
This is all I know about Kill Graveyard.

Me interviewing Patsy Lanauze

Monsignor Mc Manus
 By Louise Callan 6th class.

Monsignor P.j Mc Manus is a preist who lives and says mass in
Kilnaleck. He is a kind man who started off the blessing of the graves in Kill. He has been in Kilnaleck for nearly a quarter of a century. These are some of his thoughts on Kill graveyard.
Before I came to this parish, I understand, there was no annual Blessing of the graves in Kill. When I came here in 1980, I was asked to bless the graves and I said I would and more than that I would offer mass there for all whose bodies lie buried there. I got great encouragement from those who had plots in it ever since. Each year, usually on the August 15, we have mass there and blessing of the graves. People from two parishes gather there, from Crosserlough and from Ballintemple because there are many buried there from the Aughaloora and Ballintemple parish. Some years ago the people erected a shelter with an  altar in it so that even on a wet day mass can be offered there. The altar was donated by the late Frank Rennix(SNR), a monumental work and the work was supervised by the late Tommy O’Reilly of Kill. With the aid of the FAS scheme, an excellent job was done in re-erecting headstones, many of which had fallen and got buried in the ground. Unlike Crosserlough and Drumkilly cemeteries, Kill is not in the care of any church but Cavan County Council. What does it mean to me? These things mainly,
1-   Through its committee it gives rise to a wonderful co operative spirit and the community around there have been very positive in their care for the cemetary. Theirs is a wonderful example of lay catholic action.
2-   Every headstone there tells a story as indeed does the ruined church. I can’t pretend to know these stories. There is one headstone there with the names of several members of a family who died within a short time of each other. I would love to know their story. As I am a Vicar general of Kilmore diocese I would love to find the grave of another Vicar general of Kilmore but his name is not on any headstone.
All these stories make up history, the story of the past on this parish and I firmly believe that our past, whether we like it or not, helps to shape our present and tells us something of who we are. What do I think should be done with it? I think people who have plots there should continue with their care of it and I feel certain, because of their dedication to it, that they will. It would be nice if an individual or a group took such an interest in it, that they would try to find out and put on record some of the many stories hidden behind the headstone.
{According to Bishop Francis McKiernan, in 1927 Philip O’Connell wrote a fine article on the historyof Crosserlough parish in the journal of the Breifne Antiquarian and historical society. In it he wrote : “ A massive horizontal stab deeply sunk in clay marks the grave of Rev. Hugh Edmund O’Reilly who was Vicar general of Kilmore, he died 6 Aug 1688”. Philip O’Connell saw the headstone in 1926. It is now “lost”.

Rev Cannon Sides
 By Heather Nixon – 6th Class

Q. Heather -  What would like to happen to Kill Graveyard?
                   Any Information about Kill Graveyard
A.   Cannon Sides – My information is in files supplied. ( this is a tape Cannon Sides kindly recorded for my interview)
First impression.
It lacks a signpost from the road.  Anyone who was a stranger might find it difficult to find.  Car park is a useful facility.
New gate in good order.
Grass cut but is would be difficult to maintain.
Church ruin almost lost under ivy and trees growing inside and outside.
After the bird nesting season the ivy should be removed or at least killed off preparatory to its removal.  All trees growing inside church and nearby including that growing in the tomb of the Wilton’s to be cut, removed and roots killed with poison.  Inside of Church to be graveled after a good clean-up.
Careful restoration to a dignified old ruin.
Play tape for further impressions and suggestions.
Signed Jim Sides
                                                                        By Heather Nixon 6th Class

Cannon Jim Sides Thoughts As He Walked Through the Graveyard on Sunday the 22nd May 2005
A Signpost is missing from the Road, I knew approximately where to find it and I could see the grave stones from the road otherwise it would be difficult to find it.  The surface of the graveyard is uneven and therefore quite difficult to maintain.  I entered the old church ruins and there is not very much to be seen.  There is an ash tree growing up in the Wilton tomb, sad to see this.  Likewise the old church ruins is filling up with ash trees and laurels and the walls are covered with ivy.  One would find it difficult to find this ruin only I knew it was there.  This ruin is rapidly disappearing and needs attention.
The church is bigger than I thought and there is a small east window, there’s a window or a gap in the right hand side.  I’m not sure which, it is very over grown and it’s very neglected.  With my back now to the east window and on my left side there’s another gap or what could have been a doorway.  Id love to see it restored, not of course completely but at least to a decent ruin.
Outside of the church all one can see is masses and masses of ivy.  Some of the graves have been looked after like the ‘Comiskey and Flynn’ Families.  There are some very old graves here one of the headstones goes back to 1755 ‘aged 12’. I’m just beside a big tomb it is about eight or nine feet by about four feet, the writing on this would take sometime to read also there is a crest on the top of it. A plot for the O’Donoghues Family, goes back to 1957 and 1972 and there’s another plot in front of it again for John Reilly who died 13th 1751 aged 40 that brings us back nearly to the 1700’s.
The two churches Protestant and Roman Catholic in Kilnaleck and Kildrumferton both have their Patron Saint as St Patrick and this graveyard dates back to nearly the original church here which was believed to have been Established by a follower of St Patrick and certainly it would be nice to see it restored to a reasonable condition with a bit of grass kept on it.  The old ruin of Castlerahan church has been restored perhaps this could be used as a model for the restoration of this one.
This is an interesting place, a great deal of history obviously here and history which goes up to the present day from away back to the 1600’s and perhaps a 1000 or more years before this.
Signed: Cannon Sides, Rector of Kildrumferton Church.


Some Pictures of us Hard at Work



Michael McGivney
 By Jamie Byrd 5th Class & Karl O’Reilly 4th Class

Kill graveyard has being in use as a religious site since sometime since the year 600 AD.
The small church which is now in ruins changed hands during penal times when it was taken over by the Protestants.
The small building on the west end of the church was the local school and is now the ear of graveyard where the protestants burial is located. The last protestant to be buried in the graveyard was William Wilton from Corglass on 21st of January 1947.


The graveyard continues to be used as a burial ground to this day. Unlike other local graveyards which belong to the church kill graveyard belongs to Cavan County Council. The only written record available of present day burial show’s Ellen Goldrick a farmer from kill being buried on28th March 1936.  There have been 194 burials since, the last was Mary Reilly, Main st, Kilnaleck on the 19 February 2003.

The tombs of the lord High Sheriff O’Reilly from Baltrasna is located in the Southern side of the graveyard.  On the west side of the graveyard is the tomb of his wife and child who buried in oak lead lined coffins. They can be seen by looking in through an opening on the East side of the tomb. The steps leading to a gate to the west side of the tomb have long since been sealed up. The tomb had over the years taken in water leading to the belief that the coffins float. However this is only folklore.


The graveyard was also used during the famine times and only as recently as July 2003 when a new grave was being opened, a number of skeletons two children and one adult were found buried together about 18 inches under the ground. It has been common enough over the years to find this also skeletons in unmarked graves just a few feet under the ground.


It is said locally that Father Peter Smith whose blessed clay is used for cures was curing people when he was alive. The bishop at the time sent for him and told him to stop practicing.  Story has it that Father Smith took off his coat and hung it on a beam of sunlight coming in the window of the bishop’s house and said that the clay that would cover his bones would cure people after his death.





It is also said that during penal times a priest while saying mass in the church was shot dead by the British forces.


In 1998 the local community got together and organized a committee which got all the old gravestones straightened up and built the small church where mass is said every year normally on 15 August followed by the blessing of graves.


What Would I Like to See Happen?

A couple of simple things –

1.    People to take rubbish away and not to discard old wreaths and flowers when finished.
2.    For people to clean their graves on a regular basis and keep the graveyard clean.
3.    For some money to be available to clean up the ruins of the old church and preserve it for the future.

This is Michael McGivney who lives beside Kill Graveyard and looks after the Graveyard Book.

Stories Of Kill Graveyard As Told By Maggie Brady
By Orlaith Cusack & Karl O’Reilly
We interviewed Maggie because her father was the caretaker of Kill graveyard. This is Maggies thoughts and memories.

Colonel John O’Reilly is buried in the tomb and his wife and child are buried in the floating grave, which are made of led coffins because the Colonels family didn’t want the woman he married.  The women died given birth and mother and child were buried together.
Kill graveyard is a mixed graveyard of Catholic and Protestant.  Graves have only been blessed there in the last 20 years.  My late father and the late Tommy O’Reilly formed a committee and the graves are blessed every 15th August which is beautiful with mass outside in a small chapel they all built.  The grave of the Blessed Clay is the grave of Fr Peter Smith From Coolkill, he said “What he cured when he was living, his clay would cure when he died”.  Many people have been cured with this clay, it went as far as the U.S.A. and always needs to come back before the cure is complete.  There are prayers to be said which are on display in the small chapel in the graveyard.
There are very very old gravestones in Kill graveyard.  Micheal McGivney from Kill has a graveyard book of all the people buried there.

I don’t know anything about the Callery Family I think they died from TB all very young children.

This is the Late Larry Comiskey with his Grandson Tony

Bridgie Harten (the graveyard)
 By Louise Callan 6th Class.

Bridgie Harten is an elderly woman. She is a native of Kilnaleck and
Lived there until she got married, then she moved a little bit out of theTown(kilnaleck). Bridgie has eleven children who are all grown up and some have children of their own.Bridgie is a very nice lady who was more then happy to talk to us.
Louise:what do you remember about the graveyard from when you were a child?
Bridgie: Well I wouldn’t  remember much because when we were children we would be scared to go into a graveyard or to even walk by a graveyard, sometimes to even walk by a church if  we knew there was a coffin inside.But I’ll tell you what I do know.The lane up to Kill graveyard was covered in bushes and brambles and wasn’t kept very well.When you go up the lane and in the entrance to your left hand side behind the altar, there is a tomb.It is aledged that inside lies  the body of a woman who died giving birth to her baby.The man she was going out with was of a higher class and when the lady died, he demanded that she be buried with her feet facing the sunrise. The baby was buried in a tomb under a mound of rocks and grass, the clay wasn’t filled in on the coffin because when the man who was filling in the grave he heard a voice that said “you’ll not cover me up”, from that he ran away and never came back cover the sleight..So,the rain came in on the coffin. As a result the coffin began to float.People could look in and see the babies coffin float.It is formaly known as the “FLOATING GRAVE”.When  the rich man died, his wish was to be buried with the woman, but his people disagreed and buried him in the tomb on your right hand side from the entrance. But his feet are facing the setting sun. You would sometimes see dogs with bones in they’re mouthes that they’ve dug up from supposedly forgoten graves. That’s the version that I grew up with.But people have discovered that the mother was buried with the baby and their two coffins float on together, but they believe that someone threw in a shovel and broke half of the lid on the womans coffin.But no matter what anybody says I still believe that the womans feet are facing the rising sun and the mans feet are facing the setting sun.

Tesey Lynch – My Memory
By Jamie Byrd – 5th Class

Tesey Lynch is my neighbour and would have heard all the old stories about kill graveyard.
In Kill graveyard there is a Tomb beside the ruins of the old church with the lid broken on it.  There is a story, that tomb belonged to a Wilton Family and it was customary for the tomb to be opened the day before a funeral and a man was left to guard it over night he was to be paid a few pounds, and after the funeral he wasn’t paid so he went back that night with a sledge hammer and broke the lid.

There was a smell coming from the tomb then the county council employed a man from Ardleny named Carmicheal.  He was carring clay in a creel on his back and filled up the tomb when he had it half filled, there was a funny young man named Doherty that lived beside the graveyard and he went into the tomb and hid under a bit of the broken lid and when Carmicheal came and was dumping in his load of clay Doherty said “thou shall not cover me” away ran Carmicheal and the job was never finished.

This is the house of the funny young man named Doherty beside the graveyard and also the house of the Keoghs years ago.  

Maura Smith – Memories of Kill Graveyard
By Ryan Conaty – 5th Class

Maura is a local lady who is living with her brother in Foxfeild, Kilnaleck, she is kind, generous and jolly she enjoys a good game of cards.  Maura does voluntary work for Social Services in the area.  Maura was more that happy to be interviewed for the project.
Maura thinks that there was a school beside the graveyard at one time and the masters name was Mr. Keogh.  He lived in the house on the left of the lane as you go up to the graveyard.  Mr Keogh was related to the Keogh family who now live in Tonylion, Kilnaleck.
It had being believed that a cannon ball stroke the side of the church and that it was shot from Ardkill Mountain.  There was also a priest shot in the shoulder through the church window when he was saying mass.
She thinks that the mother and daughter who are buried in the floating grave where drowned at sea they where buried in casket because they where from a rich family and they could afford them.

Some of Our Pictures in the Graveyard



My Thoughts by Heather Nixon  

Hello I’m Heather Nixon.  I’m 12 years old.  When I heard about this
Project I thought great.  It was a whole new experience for me and I learnt lots of new things.  We all had to interview someone and I interviewed Cannon Sides.  I also wrote on the Wilton and O’ Reilly tombs.  I really enjoyed about the floating graves. We went down to the graveyard and looked at all of the headstones.  Some of the writing was very had to read.   I hope the graveyard will not be abandoned but cared and looked after.
                                                                                    Heather Nixon – 6thClass

Thoughts by Kane Shirley  

Kill graveyard is an ancient place where famous people and normal people are buried.  Me and some friends got together and started the project on Kill graveyard, it has been great doing this project and I found out things I would not have known about if I didn’t go in the project.  The most interesting thing I found out was the floating cofins and the wilton tomb.   It has been good doing the project and I have really enjoyed it.    By Kane Shirley – 5th Class                                               

My Thoughts by Louise Callan  

I think the project on Kill graveyard was a great idea, because we have learned so much about the graveyard.   When, before we barely went to it once a year.
  I found out so much that I would never have even thought about.  I never even really looked at the headstones and this really opened my eyes to it and the stories that each grave tells.  Each of us interviewed at least one person.  I interviewed Bridgie Harten and then Monsignor Mc Manus with Rachel Rennix, Orlaith Cusack and Craig Lovett.  I think it was a good idea to do this project and I thank the parents association a lot for taking the time to help us with it.
                                                                                 Louise Callan – 6th Class

What I think of the project by Rachel Rennix  

I think Kill graveyard was the perfect choice for this project. We got to visit the Genealogical centre and we paid many visits to the graveyard itself. In fact we once went there at night to have a look at the floating graves. I have learned about and heard a lot of interesting rumours about the cemetery in the making of this project. I liked being able to write about how my family helped out in the making of the new church. We got to interview many interesting people and enjoy hearing their stories. I really liked working on this exiting project with my friends. I hope I can do something like this again.
By Rachel Rennix

My Thoughts by Orlaith Cusack  

What I think about our project
I have learned lots about Kill Graveyard and around the area. Now I know the people who were buried there and also found very interesting facts about the people. we went down to the graveyard it's self and we took pictures of the headstones and read the information that it gave us. Everyone got at least 2 interviews but most of us were paired off. I interviewed Maggie Brady and Monsignor McManus. I interviewed them with Rachel Rennix, Louise Callan and Karl O' Reilly. We went to the Library in Cavan and we went to the National Research Centre too. The people who brought us places and helped us along where Teresa O'Reilly, Siobhan Lovett and Catriona Reilly. I found the whole project very interesting and I really enjoyed the interviews with the various people. It was great fun.
By Orlaith Cusack   5th Class

My Thoughts by Craig Lovett  

Hello my name is Craig Lovett.  I am eleven years old and a fifth class Pupil.  I live in the village of Kilnaleck.  This project gave me the opportunity to learn new things
 about my local graveyard.  I especially liked talking to local people about the graveyard.  They told me many stories and legends about the graveyard and I really enjoyed comparing one story with another.  Of importance to me where the many trips to the graveyard to discover new and interesting facts that I did not know.  It was extremely spooky the night we went down to see the floating coffins, but it was also exciting.  I am glad that we decided to do this project because it turned out to be great craic and we really put our heart and soul into it, as well as actually learning something.  It was nice to meet up and work as a team on this project.
                                                                        Craig Lovett – 5th Class

My Thoughts by Ryan Conaty  

Before I took part in the project I thought that Kill   Graveyard would be a very interesting and historical place to write about in a project.  When we decided to do the project on Kill graveyard I was very happy to be a part of the project and as the project went on Ilearned a lot about the history off many off the families that where buried in the graveyard.  I enjoyed interviewing the people who had the time and who where kind enough to tell us as much as they possibly could about the Kill graveyard and the old church.  I also enjoyed going down to the graveyard and doing headstone rubbing and looking in at the floating grave and getting photographs taken to put into the project and meeting up after school to discuss what to do next for the project.
                                                              Ryan Conaty – 5th Class

My thoughts by Karl O'Reilly  

My name is Karl O’Reilly. I am 10 years old and I am from Kilnaleck.  My thoughts on Kill Graveyard is that it is a very Interesting place for history and you would probably find our family
chain as far back as the 16th century, maybe.  I hope this project turns out well because I worked hard at searching for graves and interviewing people, and looking for the oldest grave. I hoped that I could find the date and name of the people buried there and if there was a story for this person, and although I did not find or hear a story behind all of them that does not mean that there is not one.
I did feel a little spooked out with the finding of the floating graves.  We went down at night with a torch and we looked into the hole and saw two coffins.  I was scared.
I found some of the stories hard to believe and some information very confussing, but mostly very interesting.  The stories of the O’Reillys, The Wiltons, The Floating Graves and even meeting people who were related to people buried there.
I was also very surprised to find the grave of my Great Great Grandfather and Great Great Grandmother, Matthew and Maria Cumiskey and my Aunt Mary who died when she was a baby.
The good things I got from this project was I got to use the computer for typing and looking on the internet and putting photos from the scanner and camera onto my stories.
I do think the graveyard is an overgrown mess and that it should be cleaned up!
                                                                                                Karl O’Reilly – 4th Class

My Thoughts by Jamie Byrd  

Hello my name is Jamie Byrd.  I am in 5th class.  I think Kill graveyard is an ancient burial ground.  It has been there for many centuries.  There are famous people who fought for Ireland’s freedom buried there.  Miles the Slashers son Colonel John O’Reilly who fought  in the battle of the Boyne is buried there.
It was a amazing experience to see the coffins floating.  We went down at night.  I also had to interview people about their thoughts on  Kill graveyard.  I interviewed Tessie Lynch, Michael and Peter McGivney, with some of my classmates.
Every year there is a blessing of the graves.
At the back of the new church there is an old church.  There are trees growing through it.  Every year the grave yard is tidied up.
These are my thoughts on Kill graveyard.
By Jamie Byrd 5th Class

My Thoughts by Christopher Tobin  

My name is Christopher Tobin, and I am from Kilnaleck.
 This is about 2 miles from Kill graveyard.  I learned things in this
 project that I would not have known about if I had not took part.
 Like that Edward P.Boylan was in the I.R.A.
I learned about the floating graves and that they are over 200 years old, cause they look really old.
I also learned that the clay from Father Terence Smiths grave can cure people because it comes from a priests grave, and to this day the clay from his grave is still believed to have healing power.
By Christopher Tobin 4th Class

My Thoughts by Shaneice Cribbin  

  am Shaneice Cribbin.  I am 11 years old. I live in No 2 Sheelin View, Killyfassey, Mountnugent, co. Cavan.  I really injoyed the project on Kill  Graveyard.  We got to go to the Libarary and to the genealogical centre.  It was fun.  We got to visit the graveyard many times.  I learned that there was a mammy and her baby buried there and where they are buried it is called floating grave and it is covered by muck and stone and there is a little hole there in the centre.
                                                               Shaneice Cribbin- 4th Class

We took a look at the past by doing this project.  It was a good experience and we found it very interesting and learned an awful lot.  We were fascinated about the history we found.  Local people welcomed us into their homes and were more than happy to tell us their stories and legends about the graveyard. 
 As with a lot of Irish history and this graveyard is no different the truth remains unknown.  It proved impossible to tell fact from legend in some cases.  All we could do was put forward these thoughts and let people judge for themselves.
We achieved all our aims and had a blast doing this project.  In fact this is the most enjoyable project that we’ve ever put together.  We hope you have found it as interesting as we did.
Finally we would like to thank all the people who took part in this project especially the people we interviewed.  Also Mary Sullivan, genealogical Centre, Cana House,Cavan. Tom Sullivan, Co Library and our Parents, Teachers and friends.
We’ve done our bit and now its time to rest.  Locals can be at ease now our project is complete, for it was only us creeping around the graveyard at all hours, day and night and not any known local ghosts!
By Heather Nixon, Louise Callan, Rachel Rennix, Craig Lovett, Ryan Conaty, Kane Shirley, Orlaith Cusack, Jamie Byrd, Karl O’Reilly, Christopher Tobin and Shaneice Cribbin, Kilnaleck National School. Co Cavan.