Cloncallow Cemetery in Ballymahon restored to its former glory

Photo Gallery from Mass to mark the completion of Cloncallow Cemetery restoration project

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

It took over four years to resurrect but thanks largely to one man's determination, Cloncallow Cemetery in Ballymahon has been restored to its former glory.

Widely reputed to be one of the oldest burial grounds in the county, the cemetery had until recently succumbed to the climatic elements.

Following a meeting held in the town's Dean Egan Hall, contact was made with Longford County Council to try and kickstart its restoration.

It was a move which would also coincide with a decision by local man John Ryan to effectively take the project by its horns.

John's family has a strong connection with the graveyard - both his parents Anthony and Mary together with his late brother Gerard are buried there.

In a remarkable show of benevolence, John set aside €1,800 of his own savings in a bid to get the project off the ground and in advance of a committee being formed.

During the initial work several old plots were discovered while over half of the cemetery's headstones were lying strewn across the ground.

In total, John put in around 700 voluntary hours to the project while at the same time managing to hold down a day job.

John himself, in a statement to the Leader this week reserved special appreciation for those on the committee for their help in organising two recent fundraising events with matching recognition given to supporters.

“Your generosity is greatly appreciated,” he said.