August 24, 2007



New Monument at Grey Abbey

At the Annual Graveyard Mass at Grey Abbey on Wednesday night, 7.30 p.m., 22 August 2007 a monument was unveiled to all those buried without record at Grey Abbey. Mass was consecrated by Parish Priest Fr. Adrian Carbery and Fr. Loughlin Flanagan. Fr. Carbery invited Fr. Flanagan to lay a wreath at the monument to commemorate all those who were buried in the graveyard but whose graves lie unmarked or unrecorded.  


The monument was erected by the Grey Abbey Conservation Project and paid for from the proceeds of the ‘Church of the Oak’ book which was published late in 2006. It is hoped that the monument will provide a place for people to say a prayer or lay a wreath or flower in memory of their loved ones as so many people were buried there but it is impossible to locate the exact location of all the graves.


 The beautiful monument was sculpted by local stone mason Sean Daly. It simply states





Always remember in your heart those three things:
whence you come, who you are and what shall become of you.

Friar Michael of Kildare
Kildare Poems – Early 14th Century



There are two crests - one a St. Brigid’s Cross representing the Parish of Kildare and the second, the Franciscan crest, as Grey Abbey was a Franciscan foundation. The latter crest was graciously supplied at extremely short notice by Fr. Ignatius Fennessy of the Franciscan Order, at their Library in Killiney - our sincerest thanks.

The wreath was supplied by Violets flowers shop and the plants each side were supplied by Guilfoyles Garden Centre - a truly local venture which was important to the Project from the outset. The Project is also grateful tothe Environment Section and National Monuments Advisory Committee of Kildare County Council who gave permission for, and advice on the erection of the monument.



The Council have also granted permission to have the gates restored and re-hung and it is hoped this will be accomplished in the next few weeks; once again this will be paid out of the proceeds of the book which also allowed the Project to purchase a new strimmer and lawn mower in 2007. Special tribute must be made to Paddy and Frank who look after the graveyard and had it looking absolutely beautiful for the mass. We would also like to thank Christy who was involved in this work until recently.


To all those who have helped along the way, especially Joe Connelly and the Cill Dara Historical Society, to all those who bought the book and the people of Kildare Town generally who have supported us throughout - THANK YOU.




Posted by mariocorrigan at 01:44 PM

November 08, 2006


The Civil War Monument erected by the National Graves Association in 1940 at Grey Abbey has been beautifully restored to its former glory. The surrounds have also been cleaned and chippings added to the grave to complete the restoration. The work was finished last week by Annette Emerson from Laois. She was engaged by Matt Doyle of the National Graves Association after being contacted by the Grey Abbey Conservation Project regarding the condition of the grave earlier this year. The National Graves Association paid for the restoration of the monument and the cleanup of the grave and earlier this year co-funded, with Kildare Tidy Towns, the restoration of the railings around the civil war monument on the Market Square. They hope to have a small ceremony in December 2006 in Kildare Town in honour of the men executed in 1922 and to mark the work done this year.

The Grey Abbey Conservation Project would like to gratefully thank them for their efforts and their commitment to their work, not just in Kildare but throughout the country.

The monument was erected to commemorate the seven I.R.A. Volunteers executed at the Curragh on the 18 December 1922. Their bodies were initially buried at the Curragh but they were re-interred in Grey Abbey in 1924. A moument was erected on the Market Square in 1935 and another at Grey Abbey in 1940 to mark the grave.

Photos from 12 April 2004


Civil War Grave.jpg


Civil War Monument.jpg


Photos from Monday 6 November 2006


Civil War Monument 6 Nov 06 72dpi.JPG

Civil War Mon closeup 6 Nov 06 72dpi.JPG

The Civil War Monument at Grey Abbey has been restored by the National Graves Association

Posted by mariocorrigan at 12:28 AM

May 04, 2005



THIS plate exhibits the north-west view of the abbey. The roof at this end is totally decayed, but the walls and eastern windows remain nearly entire. On a gravestone in the church-yard is the following epitaph:

Here lies Jean Hay,
Who night and day
Was honest, good, and just;
Her hope and love
Was from above,
In which place was her trust.
Her spirit left her terrene part,
With joy to God, where was her heart.
On the 4th day of January, 1706 / 7.
THIS View was drawn by Lieutenant Daniel Grose, anno 1792.
(p. 83, Vol. II)
Grey Abbey Kildare - history of Grey Abbey is mistakenly included under Kildare Abbey (pp. 25-26, Vol. I).

The original entry for Kildare Cathedral is recorded as follows...

Groses's Antiquities of Ireland: - County Kildare in the 1790's

(It seems to confuse Grey Abbey with Kildare Cathedral. The accompanying image and description is of the Cathedral but the early part of the history refers to Grey Abbey at Kildare - Mario Corrigan)

THIS town, situated about 28 miles from Dublin, was early celebrated for the virtue and miracles of St. Bridget, and for an inextinguishable fire preserved by her nuns. The latter succeeded the Druidesses, among whom fire was a sacred element, and kept with singular care.
THIS, called the Gray Abbey, is on the south side of the town, and was erected for friars of the Franciscan order in the year 1260, by Lord William de Vescy, but the building was completed by Gerald Fitz Maurice, Lord Offaley. He died in 1286, at Rathmore, near Naas, and was interred here.
JOHN Fitz Thomas, the first Earl of Kildare, dying at Larraghbrine near Maynooth, was buried in this church A. D. 1316. This nobleman had great variance with William de Vescy, Lord of Kildare and Lord Justice. They appealed to the king, and the Lord Justice was challenged, but declined the combat, and fled into France, whereupon the king pronounced John Fitz Thomas innocent, and bestowed on him the title of Earl of Kildare, which the other enjoyed. Three other earls of this noble house are entombed in this friary.
THE 34th Henry VIII. this monastery with its appurtenances, two gardens, and two closes of land with four messuages, &c. together with the house of the White Friars, were granted in capite to Daniel Sutton, at the annual rent of 2S. 3d. Irish money.
PART of the tower of this church still remains, and a portion of the walls, which show it to have been well constructed. The round tower adjoining it is a beautiful object. We see here six Gothic arches and as many buttresses. The north side of the steeple is leveled with the ground, said to have been beaten down by a battery planted against it in the rebellion 1641. The south wing is in ruins, it was formerly a chapel, and in it are two statues in alto relievo. One represents a bishop in his robes, a pastoral staff in his right hand, and a mitre on his head, supported by two monkeys. As there is no inscription, it is conjectured to belong to Edmund Lane, Bishop of Kildare, who was buried here A. D. 1522. The other is a monument of Sir Maurice Fitz Gerald of Lackugh, curiously cut in armour, with an inscription and five escutcheous differently emblazoned.
THE round tower is 132 feet high, adorned with a battlement, and not far from this is the fire-house. Henry de Loundres, Archbishop of Dublin in 1220, put out the fire, but it was re-lighted after, and continued to burn till the suppression of monasteries. One miracle attendant on this fire was, that notwithstanding its perpetual consumption of fuel, ashes never increased: nor was the fire ever to be blown by human breath for fear of contamination, but by vans or bellows.

This view, was taken from a drawing by Dr.Wynne.
(pp. 25-26, Vol. I)

Posted by mariocorrigan at 08:16 PM