Dundalk Famine Graveyard Association will hold their Annual Service of Remembrance at Dundalk Famine Graveyard on Sunday August 9, the committee have announced.
The service will take place at 5pm and offers an opportunity to visit the largely hidden site located at Killally, just off the Ardee Road in Dundalk. The graveyard was opened in 1850 when the workhouse graveyard became full due to the famine. The final burial is believed to have taken place in 1955.
It is understood there are over 4000 people buried in the cemetery. The Dundalk Famine Graveyard Association was set up in 2017 with the aim to restore the graveyard and maintain regular upkeep of the graveyard. Since 2018, work has been undertaken on all four walls of the graveyard to restore them, after years of vegetation had left the walls in an unstable condition. The work was completed in recent weeks.
Since the last burial in 1955, the graveyard fell into neglect with vegetation destroying the neat stone walls that surrounded the site and the grass area in the centre became badly overgrown. The association say that the move to restore the graveyard was motivated by the thought that the people buried there were neglected in death, just as they had been neglected in life.
A statement from the Association reads, ‘[We] believe that some dignity should be shown to these victims of the Great Famine by erecting a modest and appropriate memorial on the site.’ it is hoped to improve access to the graveyard which would in turn allow greater numbers to visit the site.