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Extract from


Fochart Sub-committee of the County Louth Archaeological Society

In Ireland the term urnai soon passed beyond the simple idea of prayer and came to signify also the place where prayer was offered. It even went further and denominated the locality where the place of prayer, the oratory, was situated. Thus, there are townlands and parishes all over the country which are called by this name, either alone or in combination with other elements.

Our Unrai is merely a church and graveyard within the townland of Dungooley. It may once, however, have included a certain area of land as well, since it is mentioned along with Dungooley in a list of places which paid tithe to the Priory of Saint Mary in Louth. At the suppression of monasteries in 1539 these tithes were on lease to Ó Roddy, who would, no doubt, have been the contemporary chief of that ancient Fochart family who had given burial to Edward Bruce in 1318, and whose name has not even yet disappeared from the Fochart countryside.

Urnai does not seem ever to have been a parish church properly so called, but only a chapel. It is, however, a very ancient foundation. Tradition attributes it to Saint Patrick, and his is the name it bore. When it was replaced in 1794 with a new church at Kilcurry this also was put under his patronage, and it was only when the present church there was opened in 1900 that Patrick gave way to Brigid of Fochart.

During the penal eighteenth century Urnai was the place of worship for all the country round about. To this tiny edifice, only twenty-eight feet by sixteen and a half internally, they came in their hundreds for Mass, indifferent to the weather from which but few of them could have protection. Since it meant so much in their lives, we can understand the general dissatisfaction when it was allowed to fall into disrepair. In fact, this neglect was one of the indictments preferred against Primate Blake (1758-1787) at Rome by prominent priests of the diocese.

On April the 5th, which was the Wednesday following Low Sunday in the year 1769, there was carried here down the narrow road from Forkhill the body of an old schoolmaster, whom his pupils had found dead in his sleep two days before. This was the scholar, wanderer and poet, Peadar Ó Doirnin. He " was buried at the north-east wall of Urney Graveyard in the County Louth ... in the grave with his mother. . . . The Revd. Mr. Healy, P.P. of Forkhill requested to be laid along with him which was accordingly done." In the quarter indicated there is a small stonewith Greek lettering (number 52 at the end of the list of tombstone inscriptions given below) which is a type of memorial that is altogether uncommon in graveyards of this sort. Maybe it is the tribute of the scholarly priest to his gifted friend. Convenient to it there has now been erected a monument as part of the commemoration held in honour of "Ó Doirnin na gcuach is na siollaí mín".

*(Urney, Dungooly, Kilcurry, Dundalk. Urney is part of the "Poets Trail" in North Louth and South Armagh)


BENNET—Here lyeth the body of Miehl Bennet of Carrickgollogly who depd this life Septr the 3d 1777 aged 21 years (24).
BENNET—Here lyeth the body/ of John Bennet late of/Ballyard who depd this/ life 28th April 1787/ aged 81 years also Mary/ his wife July 22nd 1781 (14).
BENNET—This stone was erected by Arthur Bennet of Mofoner in memory of his son Michael Bennet who departed this life Octber the 9th 1789 aged 23 years. (23).
BOYLAN—Here lyeth the body of Pegg- Boylan who dpd Novemb-th—1819 aged-2 years arecd—Peter Grafton (61).
BYRNS—This stone is erre/cted by Peter Byrns of Cashhil in me/mory of his mother/ Judy Mcvary who/ departed this life Feb/ 1782 aged 52 (27).
COBURN—Here lieth the body of Sami Coburn of Dungooley who departed this life the 18 day of Septr anno 1793 aged 50 years (59).
CUNNEGAN ?—Here lieth the/ body of Cathrin/ Cunnegan ? who/ deprd the - -/ 18- aged - -/ also Margaret/ Cunnegan ? --/--/--/ Cunnegan ? (64).
CURTES—Hear lieth the body of Darby Curtes of Forkhill who depar this life May the 13th 1709 aged 47 years (2). (The D of Darby is turned back to front.)
FARREL—Erected by Bernard Farrel/ of Carrickasticken in me/mory of his father Patric/ Farrel who died 5th Jan/ 1760 aged 6 ?0 years (61).
FEARAN—Erected/ by Terrence Fearan of Leg/moylan in memory of his mo/ther Bridget Fearan who died/ Oct A D 1830 aged 62 years of/ - wife Ann Fearan who died/ Dec A D 1842 aged 56 years/ and of his daughter Mary/ Fearan who died Oct 1844/ aged 32 years (13).
FEGAN—This stone is erected in the memory of Neal Fegan from Carrif who departed his life the 12 day of March in the -ear of our Lord 1786 ea- 60 years and also his so--chlin Fegan who dep - is life in the 15 day - - 1780 eage 20 years fr - - departed his life in the - - (7).
(This stone has been illustrated in " County Louth Archaeological Journal," XVI, 1.)
FORD—Her - - body/ of R - - Ford/ of - - who/ dep - - y/ (12).
(Most of the surface of this stone has flaked off).
FORDE—Here lyeth the body of Rachel Forde who departed this life Febry the 26 1785 ? aged - years (62).
GARLAND—Erected/ by/ Mrs. Culhane Dundalk in memory of/her mother and father Bridgid and/ Thomas Garland of Dungooley also her/ husband John ---/---/ Culhane - - - - her brother Francis Garland of/ Dungooley - - -1949/ On their souls/ sweet Jesus have mercy (22).
GROOGAN—Heair lieth the bodey of Patrick Groogan of -hean who dep-ed this life May 9th 1170 80 aged 804 years (sic) (57).
HOLLYWOOD—This stone is erected by Larenes Hollywood of Carf in memorey of his wife Margret Kearan who departed this life Februarey th - 1793 aged 56 years (40).
HOLLYWOOD—Erected in memory of John Hollywood Carrive died 2nd Dec 1843 R I P Boyle Seafin (21).
HUGHES—Here lieth the body of Arthur Hughes & his posterity who deprtd this life May the 2nd 1776 aged 73 years (50).
HUGHES—- - this stone - -/ erected by Patrick/ Hughes of Boreah in/ memory of his daughter/ Sally Hughes who dped/ this life September/ 9th 1824 aged 25 years/ May she rest in peace/ Amen (37).
HUGHES—In memory of/ Catherine Hughes/ Carriff/ who died 1st Nov 1868 (49).
KELLY—(A lightly and rudely scratched inscription, of which only the figures 1767 can be made out. It may, however, be identical with a similar inscription on the reverse side, which runs as follows ):
Here lyeth the body/ of Peter Kelly who/ departed this life Octb/ the 5th 1767 aged 78 (28).
LAPPIN - Thomas Lappin, Carrive, 1797
M—JM (8).
Mc CAN—Aged 76 yrs Here lieth the body of Bryn Mc Can who depad this life May ye 12th also his son Petr who died ye 23d day of sd month aged 26 yrs anno humanae salutis 1790 erected by his son Robt all of Carive (53). (The stone has the emblem IHS with a cross rising above the H and a heart below it, the whole contained within a chevron and circle ; to the left of the circle is a hand with extended fingers).
Mc CANN—This stone was erected by Michael Mc Cann in memory of his father Neal Mc Cann who departed this life Decbr the 7th 1785 aged 74 years (60).
Mc CANN—Dedicated in memory/ of Robert Mc Cann of/ Shanrow who died - - - - / Feb - - aged 8 ?0 years/ also his wife Cathrine ?/ Me Cann - ed (18).
Mc CANNA—Here lieth the body of Mattw Mc Canna who depd this life Apri the 21st 1795 aged 21 years also the body of Rose O Hanlon (his mother) who depd March the 19th 1795 aged 61 years Requiescant in pace Amen Erected by Bernard Mc Canna (55).
Mc CARDEL—He leth/ bo of Patr/ick Mc Car/del who/ departed/ life 1766/ aged 60 (51).
Mc CONVILLE—For the love of the Sacred Heart pray for the soul of Bessie Mc Conville of Carriff who died 8th March 1916 aged 38 years and for the souls of all who are lying here O Neill & Co Belfast (63).
Mc COY—Erected by/ Elizabeth Grant/ Tullynacrieve/ in memory of her father/ Owen Mc Coy/ her mother Elizabeth Mc Coy/ her uncle Patrick Mc Coy/ and her brothers/ John Patrick Brian and Thomas (46).
Mc DONALD—Here lies/ the body/ of Mary Mc/ Donald aged/ 36 years(10).
Mc DONNELL—Mc Donnell (9).
Mc GOUGH—Erected in memory of Patrick Mc Gough of Carriff who departed this life August 12th 1865 aged 74 years also his daughter Mary who departed this life July 30th 1850 aged 21 years also his son Patrick who departed this life August 2nd 1861 aged 26 years (19).
Mc NEIL—Here lieth the body/ of John Mc Neil of/ Shean who departed/ this life February the/ 18th 1804 aged 65 years/ also his son Hugh Mc/ Neil of Longfield who/ departed this life April/ the 9th 1828 aged 54 years (39).
Mc NEILL—Erected to the memory of Felix Mc Neill of Shean who departed this life 17th May 1840 aged 48 years also his wife Mary who died 12th July 1860 aged 66 years also their son Patrick who died 19th July 1862 aged 37 years (38).
Mc PARLAND—This monument was erected by Francis Mc Parland of Dundalk in memory of his grandfather James Mc Parland of Shanrow who depd this life July the 26th 1789 aged 62 years also his father Francis Mc Parland late of Dundalk who died the 12th of January 1820 aged 52 years (1).
Mc VEY—Here lyeth the body of Peggy Mc Vey/ who departed this life May the 28th 1778 aged/ 40 years afflliction so long time there Plashiah/ -/---/-- (20).
MAGILL—Erected by Joseph Magill of Carrickasticken in memory of his son John Magill who died 28th August 1844 aged 28 years (43).
MAGUIN—Here lieth the bodey of Hugh Maguin he departed this life March 1th 1794 aged 57 yers (56).
MUCKIAN—Here lyeth the body of/ Honour Muckian who/ departed this life February 20th/ aged -8 years 1763 (30).
MUCKIAN—Here lyeth y/ body of Cath/arine Muckian/ who departed y/ life Sept 24th 1769/ aged 54 years 1769 R in P Amen (29).
MUCKIAN—Interred here/ are the remains of Henry/ Muckian of Tullinavin who departed/ this life/ Octr the 30th 1834/ aged 66 yrs/ also his wife Elizabeth/ Muckian who departed/ this life Feby the 5th 1839/ aged 71 yrs (31).
MURPHEY—This is the/ burying place/ of Frances Mur/phey of Bellea - ?/ Here lyeth his son James who/ departed this life/ June ye 24th 1767 (36).
MURPHY—Here lyeth the body/ of Edmond Murphy/ of Carue who departed/ this 7th day of 9br/ 1745 aged 63/ years (54).
MURPHY—Here lieth the/ body of Oan Mur/phy of Cashel he/ departed this/ life Septm 29th 1779/ aged 40 yeres/ erected by John/ Murphy (17).
MURPHY—Here lyeth the body of Patrick Murphy of Carif who departed this life May ye 7th 1782 aged 25 years also his father James Murphy who depd this life May the 9th 1791 aged 55 years (42).
MURPHY—Here lieth the body of Brine Murphy, of Carave, who departed this life, November; th iid 1789 aged 28 yers; also the body, of Peter. Murphy who departed, this life. May th 2 1791 aged 21, yers (58).
MURPHY— is the bur/-ng place of/ -trick Murphy of Larbirged and his family/ also his son Owen/ Murphy who de/parted April 9th/ 1796 aged 26/ years (11).
MURPHY—Erected by Hugh/ Murphy of Dungooly/ in memory of his/ father Arthur Murphy/ who departed this life/ 11 November 1801 aged/ 74 years also his mother/ Elenor Murphy who dept/ this life 22 April 1817/ aged 78 years also his/ wife Catherine Murphy/ who departed this life 27/ January 1856 aged 54 (26).
MURPHY—Here lieth the body of Felix Murphy of Doctors Quarter who departed this life December the 7th 1807 aged 58 years also his wife Mary Murphy who dpd this life August the 17th 1828 aged 80 years (35).
MURPHY—This monument was erected by John Murphy of Dungooley in memory of his wife Anne Murphy who departed this life the 9th June 1838 aged 69 years (6).
MURRAY—Here lyeth the/ body of Daniel/ Murray who departed this life/ on Thuesday th/e 8th day of De/cember 1761 aged 23 years (33).
Ó DOIRNíN File 1769
O HANLON—Erected/ by/ Michael 0 Hanlon of Lacbirged/ in memory of his beloved father/ Michael 0 Hanlon/ who departed this life 8th Dec/ 1872 aged 56 years/ also his grandmother/ Elizabeth 0 Hanlon who died/ in the year 1845 aged 57 years (45).
QUINN—In the most holy name of Jesus pray for the soul of Michael Quinn died Feb 19 1883 aged 42 yrs also Owen Quinn died June 27th 1878 also John Quinn died Septr 8th 1876 on whose soul sweet Jesus have mercy Amen W. S. Gillman Sheffield (3).
The tombstone is in the shape of a somewhat elevated coffin lid, upon which is carved a full-size cross with floral ends and floral growths emerging from both sides of the stem. The crossing of the arms is surrounded by a circle of dots J within two concentric lines. All the decoration is in relief.
RAFFERTY—Erected by Michael Rafferty of Shean in memory of his beloved father Cornelius Rafferty who departed this life 1st January 1866 aged 52 years also his grandfather Patrick Rafferty who departed this life September 1849 aged 57 years and his grandmother Margaret Rafferty who departed this life December 1865 aged 72 years also his sisters Mary Ann and Ellen who died in infancy (47).
SHEILS—Here lyeth the/ body of Philip Sheils of Dungooley who depart/ed this life April 23rd 1781/ aged 17 years Weep not for me that here doth lye but for yourselves that are to die. CORNELIUS CASEY - formerly Dungooly, 1st August 2009 (25).
SMYTH—Here lyh the bo/ of Hugh Smyth ho de/ ths life 17 May 1744 (48).
SMYTH—Here lieth the body of Terence Smyth of Tallydonnell who departed this life the 28 of July 1761 aged 66 years Erected by Thos Smyth (41).
TERENEY—Here lyeth the body/ of John Tereney who/ departed this life/ October 27th 1788/ aged 77 years (44).
TIERNAN—Tiernan (4).
An incised cross with flattened ends within a circle (5).
A stone within the church space with one corner missing and lettering impossible to decipher (16).
A stone bearing an incised cross with splayed ends (32).
A stone bearing an Incised cross with splayed ends and two concentric circles surrounding the intersection of the arms (34).
A small polished stone showing an incised cross within a circle, with what appear to be four Greek letters along the cross bar, two each side of the upright, Alpha Omega to the left and Pi Omega to the right (52).view image (This is thought to be the marker of the grave of Peadar ÓDoirnín)
A stone with what would appear to be a broadly-incised cross, the horizontal bar prolonged downward and upward in swastika fashion. There are two circular depressions over the bar, one each side of the upright, and there is a broad band following the curve of the stone round the upper part of the cross (15).

- County Louth Archaeological Society

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