Memorial inscriptions can yield very interesting social, historical, and genealogical facts of a family. To the left of the main gate is a large stone slab:
“O LORD HAVE MERCY ON
THE SOUL OF HENRY O TOOLE
OF OUTERARD WHO DEPARTED
THIS LIFE ON THE 18 OF APRIL
1838 AGED 63 YEARS
THIS TOMB WAS ERECTED BY
HIS SONS MARTIN & EDMOND
FOR THEM AND THEIR POSTERITY
AND HIS WIFE NORA
EDMOND O TOOLE
MAIN ST OUGHTERARD
HIS WIFE NORA
REQUIESCAT IN PACE AMEN”
The slab is placed under a Celtic cross bearing the inscription:
Died Dec. 1898
His wife HONOR
Died 28th July 1946
From this one grave the O Toole family have a history of their ancestors
To the right of this grave is the headstone of
Colm de Bhailís
File agus Fear Ceirde
Colm De Bhailís (Wallace), the poet, who lived in the Workhouse in Oughterard would have died unrecognised only for the attention paid to his welfare by Patrick Pearse and Eamon de Valera. The Gaelic League thought that an educated person such as Colm should not be in a Workhouse so they procured lodgings for him with the O Toole family, Main Street, Oughterard. He lived until he was 110 and he was buried in Kilcummin cemetery. His grave was unmarked until the late Pat Gibbons, Main St. Oughterard pointed it out. A headstone was erected over the grave bearing the above inscription.
His works were published by Connradh na Gaelige. “Tacar Amhrán” a collection of poetry by Padraic Ó Domhnalláin, a local teacher, contains a poem “Amhrán an Tae” by Colum Wallace. This book was in use in local National schools at the beginning of the century.
Eamon De Valera and Padraic Pearse stayed with Padraic Ò Domhnalláin in Camp Street when they came to visit Colum Wallace. De Valera at that time used to attend Irish courses in Tourmakeady. Padraic Pearse wrote several letters to Padraic Ó Domhnalláin. Seán Donnellan National school teacher, son of Padraic Ó Domhnalláin, gave me a copy of the letters.
Colm De Bailís lodged with Harry O Toole and his wife Nora who are buried opposite the Republican Plot with their children Tommie, Mary, Seamus and Laurence who died after contacting the flu in 1914. The children’s names are not listed on the headstone. Beside this is the family grave of Harry and Nora’s other children, CHRISTINA (Chris), HENRY(Henny), EDWARD(Ned) and WINIFRED CAINE. Their son JOHN is buried with his wife KATHLEEN nearby.
Many more of our headstones have interesting stories connected with them.