A ceremony is to be held this Saturday to commemorate those buried in the Workhouse Graveyard in Letterkenny.
The occasion has been organised by the Letterkenny Community Heritage Group who will remember those who are buried there by holding a short ceremony at the County Museum.
“The Guardians have inspected the grounds allocated for a cemetery and feel highly satisfied with its appearance.”
With these words written on the 9th January 1869 the guardians of the Letterkenny Workhouse indicated their approval of the much-needed cemetery beside the workhouse.
In the early 1970s road widening work in the High Road area uncovered a grave plot which at the time was thought to be a ‘famine graveyard.’
This was not a surprising conclusion given that the workhouse was opened in the same year (1845) as the Great Famine began but research by local historian, Hugh Devlin, has shown that the graveyard was opened some twenty years after the famine.
The event which will begin at 2pm will consist of some words of reflection, some readings and some music. It is hoped that as many people as possible will join the group to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of the workhouse graveyard.
As Hugh says the graveyard was set up not to bury all those who died in the workhouse but just those who were ‘unclaimed.’ On Saturday we have a chance to remember the unclaimed.