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Adapted, with the Society's permission from the 1988 Guide


(m2 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard"*)

This headstone is a memorial to Rev. James Wilson Aughmuty, Rector of Creggan and Forkhill Parishes from 1934 to 1944. Rev. James Wilson Aughmuty was ordained in 1896. Before his appointment as Rector of Creggan and Forkhill Parishes, he was Rector of Carlingford Parish. He was appointed Prebendary of Mullabrack Parish in 1943. In "Armagh Clergy and Parishes", in 1911, Rev. J. B. Leslie wrote: ". . . Canon Aughmuty had been for several years the efficient and enthusiastic Sec. of the Board of Missions of the Diocese, in which work he was ably secoiided by Mrs. Aughmuty . . .". He died on 20th October 1944, aged 76, and is buried here.

"Seanchas Ard Mhacha", 1972



(T7 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone is a memorial to Mary Blyk. Around the middle of the 17th. century, a George Blyke was the proprietor of the Dorsey Inn, where St. Oliver Plunkett, on-the-run and in disguise, held conferences with priests of the Archdiocese of Armagh. Around the middle of the 18th. century, another George Blyke was sexton of Creggan Church. Perhaps, Mary Blyk was related to one or both of these men.



(E6 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone, erected by Thomas Conelan, is a memorial to Cecily Branagan. According to Cardinal Tomds O'Fiaich, ". . . A Thomas Conelan of Cregganduff who died about the end of the 18th. century was the scribe of Gaelic Ms. F. 1. (containing a life of St. Patrick in Irish) now in Maynooth College Library. The Thomas Conelan who erected the memorial may be the scribe of the Ms.



(JI0 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone, erected by Thomas Jackson, is a memorial to three members of the Browne family. The Thomas Jackson who erected the headstone was Sir Thomas Jackson, Creggan's only knight of the realm since the middle of the 17th. century, when Sir Henry O'Neill ruled the Fews.



(VI in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone is a memorial to Fr. John Campbell, P.P. of Carlingford from 1867 to 1878. Fr. John Campbell was born in Tullydonnell in 1799. He received his early education in schools at Forkhill and Glassdrummond and, from 1828 to 1830, he studied at the College of Picpus, Paris. He was ordained in Kilkenny Cathedral in 1832 and appointed C.C. of Upper Creggan, where he served for twenty-six years. While C.C. of Upper Creggan, he played a key role in the building of the parish's three churches and parochial house. During the years of the Great Famine, according to all obituary notice in the "Dundalk Democrat", "... Fr. Campbell's exertions to alleviate distress will be long and gratefully remembered by the people of Upper Creggan. During those years when he completed his collections of oats he had the corn ground into meal and distributed amongst the starving people and by thus depriving himself of a large portion of his means of support he saved the lives of hundreds in those terrible times. His unerring exertions to lessen the sufferings caused by the Famine, while he cheerfully shared with the people his own means of subsistence, carried for him the affection and everlasting gratitude of the parishioners. Many a tear will be shed and many a fervent prayer will be offered for the happy repose of the soul of their generous benefactor by the people of Creggan. . .". In 1858, Fr. John Campbell was appointed Adm. of Ballymacnab Parish and in 1867 he was appointed P. P. of Carlingford Parish, where he served until his death.



(U2 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone, erected by Christopher Crawley, Culloville, is a memorial to Elizabeth and Stans. Crawley, his mother and son. According to T.G.F. Paterson in "The Creggan Vestry in the 18th. Century", Christopher Crawley was a Creggan Churchwarden from 1795 to 1797. However, an inscription on Creggan Church tower reads: "This tower was erected by the Parish of Creggan in the year of our Lord 1799 Cs Crawley Jn Gillmer Churchwardens". On 31st October 1796, Christopher Crawley was appointed Captain, and his brother William, Lieutenant, of the Creggan Yeomanry which was very active in the parish during the years before and after the 1798 rebellion.



(d5 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone, erected by Fr. Thomas Donaghy, is a memorial to his father and mother, Peter and Mary Donaghy, Lisleitrim. Thomas Donaghy was born in Lisleitrim on 2nd June 1842, studied for the priesthood at Mackin's School, Cullyhanna, All Hallows College, Dublin and Propaganda College, Rome, and was a professor in All Hallows College until 1876 when, because of ill-health, he went to Australia. He joined the diocese of Melbourne, where he was attached to the Cathedral, and became Dean of the Diocese. A saintly man of great charity. . he died on 8th December 1891.



(L3 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

The three headstones in this plot are memorials to some members and relations of the ban Donaldson family, Cloghoge. Alexander ban Donaldson was one of the earliest Presbyterians to settle in Creggan parish. He came from the Barony of Lecale, in East Down, settled first at Drumhammond, Co. Monaghan, then at Philipstown, Co. Louth and finally, in the late(?) 1730's at Cloghoge. At least three of Alexander ban Donaldson's grand-children were members of the United Irish Society (United Irishmen) - Alexander, William and Margaret (Peggy ban) - and at least one of their homes, the "Ambush House", Freedutf, was burned by Lord Blayney's "flying column", in 1797. Another of Alexander ban's grandson's(?), colonel William Donaldson, fought against the English in the American War of 1812 - 1815.

1970 reading of inscriptions:

"Here lies the body of Alex Donaldson of Cloghog Co. Armagh formerly ff Philipstown Co. Louth who died 22nd Jan 1776 aged 85 years, and of his wife Alice Donaldson who died 24 Aug 1769 aged 82 years, and of Richard Donaldson M D who father Joseph Donaldson was a grandson of the said Alex Donaldson. He died 4th March 1879 aged 54 years "Sacred to the memory of Thomas Bell of Killin Co. Louth formerly of Druminnis Co. Armagh born 13 Feby 1775died 24 Feby 1868;Eliza Bell formerly Charleton his wife born 4 June 1801 died 21 June 1873; and their children Eliza Bell born 4 March 1833 died 23 May 1892; Isabella Bell born 20 July 1828 died 9 March 1908; Leonard Gillespie Bell born 11 Septr 1826 died 13 Feby 1911; Jane Alicia Bell born 6 June 1831 died 30 Novr 1914; Dorothea Bell born 18 Septr 1825 died 9 Feby 1917".

"Here lies the body of Andrew Donaldson of Philipstown Co. Louth died 29 Oct 1773 aged 61 years; Catherine Donaldson alias Bailie his wife died 12 April 1811 aged 82 years and their only son Alex Donaldson died 7 Novr 1843 aged 72years; also their daughter Alice Donaldson died 5 Feby 1788 aged 19years and Dorothea Charleton alias Donaldson died 26Jan 1821 aged 52 years and her sons Alex Charlelon died 28 Septr 1828 aged 25years and William Charleton died 25 Septr 1875 aged 77 years".



The squat stone building in the centre of Creggan graveyard always attracts attention and the inevitable question, "What is it?", always follows. In "Armagh Clergy and Parishes", in 1911, Rev. J. B. Leslie wrote: ". . . There is in the centre of the churchyard, an old stone house, with stone roof, said by some to be the old burial place of the Eastwood family, and by others to have been an old watch-house erected, as we find them in Scotland, to guard against corpse stealers. . .". However, it is now generally accepted that the stone building is in fact the Eastwood family vault. Inside Creggan Church there is a plaque which reads: "In her family vault near this church lie the remains of Mary, wife of the Revd. Gervais Tinley, Rector of Faughart and Master of the Endowed Classical School of Dundalk, eldest sister of Frans. Eastwood Esqr. of Killencool Castle, and of the Revd. Wm. Eastwood, Rector of Kilscoran and Chancellor of the Diocese of Ferns. She died on the 28th day of Novr. 1815 aged 58 years. Her affectionate husband who inscribes this tablet to her memory forbears to fill it with superfluous praise or useless lamentations, yet justice to her merits requires him to inform posterity that she exhibited in every period of her life such purity of mind, benevolence of heart and pious resignation to the will of the Supreme Being, during a most painfull and long protracted illness, that her whole conduct as a Christian justly entitles her to universal approbation, imitation and love. In the same vault also lie the remains of her much respected mother Mrs. Jane Eastwood, and likewise of her nephew Frans. Matilda Eastwood, an amiable youth of eighteen.


(F5 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone is a memorial to the Grant family, Tullynvall. One of these Grants was an organiser of the United Irishmenin the Silverbridge-Carrive area and he is mentioned in the beautiful ballad, "The Carrive Blacksmith".

1970 reading of inscription:
"In loving memory of Grant family Tullynavall".



(T2 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard')

The two headstones in this plot are memorials to members of the Jackson family, Urker, one to Sir Thomas Jacksons daughter, Edith Bradford, the other to his great-grandmother, Margaret, his grandfather and grandmother, John and Elizabeth, and his father, David. Thomas Jackson was born on 4th June 1841, at Urker Lodge. On 19th Septeinber 1871, he married Amelia Lydia Dare, Dorset, England. They had nine of a family, as follows: Kathleen McCullagh (1 872 - 1959); Edith Bradford (1874 -died in infancy buried at Creggan); Amy Oliver (1 874 - 1962); Thomas Dare (1876 - 1954); Beatrice Minnie Shrieve (1 879 -?); George Julius (1 883 - 1956); Dorothy St. Felix (1 887 - 1964); Walter David Russell (1890 - 1956) and Claude Stewart (1892 - 1917).

As a young man, Thomas worked for the Bank of Ireland. Later, he went to Hong Kong and made a name for himself in financial circles. In 1856, he founded the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank and, with a few short breaks, was its chief manager until he retired, in 1902. He was also the first elected representative of the Chamber of Commerce in the Legislative Assembly, Hong Kong. He was knighted in 1899 and created a baronet in 1902. In 1906, a statue of him was unveiled by Sir Matthew Nathan, Governor of Hong Kong. His home in England was Stansted House, Stansted, Essex. He died in London on 21st December 1915 and each of his thre eldest sons, in turn, inherited his title. His youngest soil was killed in action during World War 1. Sir Thomas Jackson is probably best remembered in Creggan Parish for erecting a clock on Crossmaglen Markethouse, in 1903, to replace the "dummy clock" placed there by landlord Ball - an event which gave rise to the well-known ballad, beginning:

"We talk of great physicians and Dr. Williams Pills,
And Mother Regal Syrup as a remedy for ills;
But long live Sir Thomas Jackson - great laurels for to win,
He gave speech unto a dummy clock in the town of Crossmaglen".

Inscription on stained-glass window over altar in Creggan Church:
"This window was placed here by many friends in loving memory of Sir Thomas Jackson Bart, born at Urker 4th June 1841, died at London 21st Dec. 1915, whose kindly disposition and great and consistent christian life endeared him to all".

1970 reading of inscriptions:
"Sacred to the memory of Edith Bradford infant daughter of Thomas and Amelia Lydia Jackson born 27th May 1874 died 7th September 1874. "For such is the kingdom of Heaven ". "Here lieth the remains of John Jackson late of Urker who departed this life the 20th June 1817 aged 37 years, also those of his mother Margaret Jackson who died Jan 1820 aged 81 years, also those of his widow Elizabeth Jackson who departed this life 12th March 1880 aged 92 years, also of his only son David Jackson who died Nov 1 Ith 1889 aged 75 years".



(B3 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone is a memorial to John Lee Jeffers, Carnally House, grandson of Francis Forde, the builder of Carnally House. Francis Forde's two wives and son, Francis, may also be buried here.

1970 reading of inscription:
"GIED. AD 1869. In affectionate remembrance of John Jeffers who died Febry the 13th 1868 aged 36 years. RIP".



(T1 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

Lying inside a walled enclosure, this headstone is a memorial to John and Mary Johnston, "Woodvale", Ballsmill. John Johnston, a Creggan Churchwarden in 1776, was the third son of John Johnston, Roxboro', better known, perhaps, as "Johnston of the Fews". A very special tribute was paid to him in the Creggan Vestry Minutes of 1777: ". . . That it is further agreed that Mr. John Johnston of Ballynaclera shall have the seat next to the communion Table on the north side of the Church where his family used to sit, confirmed to him and his family forever without any charge for building, as a testimony of the parishioners' regard for him, and in consideration of his having served as Churchwarden this last year, when it was not his turn, and having superintended the building of the seats, flagging the Church and having carefully and justly expended the money raised for that purpose. . .". Down the years, this branch of the Johnston family carried Ball as a christian name and in the last generation there was a Richard George Ball Johnston and a John Thomas Ball Johnston. The ruins of the mill, after which the village of Ballsmill was named, may still be seen in the townland of Ballynaclosha. John Johnston, Roxboro', is also buried here. He was appointed Chief-Constable of the Fews in 1710 and his success and notoriety as a tory hunter for nearly half-a-ceiltury gave rise to the prayer:

"Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews,
Save us from Johnston, King of the Fews".

Perhaps, his most celebrated coup was the capture and capital conviction of Seamus Mor MacMurphy, the Carnally outlaw, who is also buried in the graveyard. In 1738, "Johnston of the Fews" was a Creggan Churchwarden and when he died in 1759, among the bequests n his will were: ". . . .I leave to the poor of the Parish of Creggan the sum of 5 to be divided among them in such manner as the Minister of the said parish and any two executors may think fit... 1 leave to my esteemed friend the Revd. Hugh Hill Minister of Creggan by best horse or mare at the time of my decease as an acknowledgement for his many favours and a token of my regard for him.

1970 reading of inscription:
"Here lieth the body of Mary Johnston wife of John Johnston of Woodvale in this county who departed this life on the 28(?) of Decembetr 1805(?) aged 84 years. Here also lieth the remains of the said John Johnston who departed this life the 12th day of Decr 1816aged 87 years.



(I4 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone marks the burial place of the relatives and parents of Hugh Kelly, Tullyvallen "Kieran", the eminent Gaelic Scholar who died around the time of the "Great Flu" of 1918.



(A1 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone, standing against the west wall of the graveyard is a memorial to the Lavel family, Lurgan (Culleiiboy). According to Jem Murphy, Felix Lavel's wife, Nancy McCuoy, was Art MacCooey's sister.

1970 reading of inscription:
"Here lies the body of. Thomas Lavel of Lurgan who departed this life May the 25 1786 aged 38 years. Also his father Felix Laval who departed this life January the 17 1792 aged 80 years. Also Nancy Me Cuoy wife of said Felix who departed this life February 15 1807 aged 89 years".



(a2 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone is a memorial to the parents of Fr. Michael Lennon, P.P. Upper Creggan, from 1829 to 1871.


(J4 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone is a memorial to Pat Loye. It is of interest, in so far as it is the oldest headstone discovered in the graveyard (302 years now in 1987).

1970 reading of inscription:
"Here lyeth the body of Pat Loye who died 9ber3. anno 1685".


(m1 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard')

This headstone is a memorial to Rev. Lewis George Mills, Rector of Creggan Parish from 1873 to 1885. Rev. Lewis George Mills was born in Co. Longford in 1823. During the period 1850 to 1873, while Headmaster of Armagh Cathedral School, he obtained B.A., LL.B. and LL.D degrees at Trinity College, Dublin. He was Curate of Aghavilly Parish from 1871 to 1873, in which year he was appointed Rector of Creggan. He died on 28th May 1885, aged 62 years, arid was buried here.

1970 reading of inscription:
"In loving memory of the Revd. Lewis G. Mills LLD who died 28th May 1885 aged 62 years 'Thy will he done' ".


Beside the Wallace headstone (Plan No. 111 8), on the side next to the road, is the grave of Fr. Hugh Mulligan's parents. Fr. Hugh Mulligan was appointed C.C. of Forkhill Parish in 1825 and was P.P. of the parish from 1837 until his death in 1878.


This plaque, erected by Eigse Oirialla arid installed by Jem arid Brian Murphy in 1987, is a memorial to Patrick Mac aLiondain, the Gaelic poet and harper. Patrick Mac aLiondain was born in Creggan parish, perhaps in the townlaiid of Lisleitrim(?), around 1666. Not much is known about him but it appears that he was comparatively well-off and acted as a patron to the other poets of the Fews, correcting their work and holding bardic contentions in his home. His best known poem is a lament for Eoghan Rua O'Neill. He died in 1733 and was buried in Creggan graveyard. No stone marks his grave and the actual spot is unknown.

Inscription on plaque:
"Ordid ar anam Phadraig mhic A Liondain file ar Fheadha a adhlacadh sa chill seo mina Marta 1733. Ar dheis di go rabh a anam.
A prayer for the soul of Patrick Mc aLiondain poet of the Fews buried in this graveyard March 1733. R.LP. Plaque erected by Eigse Oirialla 1987".


(U4a in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone, designed by John Behan, arid erected under the auspices of Eigse Oirialla, was unveiled by Scnorita Conchita O'Neill, Seville, Spain, on 29th April 1973, to mark "the reputed burial place of the poet Art Mac Cooey" and to commemorate him on the bicentenary of his death. ". . More than any other poet of the 18th. century . . .", wrote Cardinal Tomas O'Fiaich, "... MacCooey is the poet par excellence of Creggan and of the O'Neill family of Glassdrummond. . . ". He was probably born in the town land of Ballinaghy (Mounthill) and educated at a local "hedge-school", where he gained a good knowledge of Irish mythology, Irish history and classical literature. According to tradition, his father divided the family holding between him arid his brother Terence but he squandered his portion and spent the rest of his life working as a labourer or gardener. He wished to marry his second-cousin, Mary Lamb, but Fr. Terence Quinn, P.P. Creggan, refused to perform the marriage ceremony on the grounds of ". . . the forbidden degrees of kindred........ so Art had it performed in Creggati Church by Rev. Hugh Hill, thus incurring ". . . ipso facto . . . " excommunication from the Catholic Church. Following his excommunication, he was ostracized by his neighbours so he left Creggan Parish and went to live at Howth, where he worked as a gardener. However, in a year or so, through the good offices of Fr. Laurence Taaffe, P.P. Kilkerley and Vicar-General of Armagh, the excommunication order was revoked, a marriage dispensation granted and Art returned to Creggan Parish. He spent his last years working as a herd on a farm at Tullyard and died on 5th January 1773, at the age of thirty-four. Over twenty-five of his poems in Irish have survived, the best known being; "Aisling Airt Mhic Chubhthaigh" (Art MacCooey's Dream); "Maire Chaoch" (Blind Mary); "Bodaigh na hEorna" (The Churls of Barley); and of course "Urchill an Chreagdin"(The Noble Churchyard of Creggan), which, because of its popularity, has been described as ". . . the national anthem of South-Ulster. . . ". In "Art MacCooey and His Times", Cardinal Tomas O'Fiaich wrote: ". .. MacCooey's poems show him as a man of spirit and independence of outlook - courageous, patriotic,, imaginative ... No doubt he had his faults like all mortals ... But when all is said and done, his is the one voice which has survived out of the Creggan of two centuries ago. He articulated the joys and sorrows, the hopes and disappointments, the fears and passions of our people, and in doing so he gave the Parish of Creggan a place in the literature and history of Ireland."

Inscriptions on headstone:
"Art Mac Cumhaigh. A gaeil chumhra an Chreagdin a leafgar mi i gcre faoi fod" (Art MacCooey. In the fragrant clay of Creggan let my weary heart have rest".
"The reputed burial place of the poet Art MacCooey".

See also O'Callaghan/Johnston and Quin



(04 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone is a memorial to members of the McDonneell/McDonald family, Carnally. These McDonnells were the owners of the plot of ground on which Carnally House was built.

1970 reading of inscription.
"IHS. Here lyeth the body of Roger McDonnell of Carnally who departed this life December the 29th 1794 aged 74years. Also the body of Nancy McDonald eldest daughter of Fris McDonald of Carnally who departed this life the 30th June 1809 aged 16 years".


Somewhere in Creggan Graveyard lie the remains of Fr. Daniel Mac Gilmurry (Kilmurry), Carnally, who was ordained by St. Oliver Plunkett at Ardpatrick, Co. Louth, in 1676 and after whom the new Silverbridge G.A.A. grounds were named. Speaking at the officil opening of the new grounds on 18 May 1980, the Chairman of the Silverbridge G.A.A. Club said: ". . . We decided to name our grounds Kilmurry Park in memory of Fr. Donal Kilmurry, born in Carnally where the new football park now stands, the house being in the upper end of the pitch. He was ordained to the priesthood at Ardpatrick in Co. Louth in 1676 by St. Oliver Plunkett. He would have baptised Seamus Mor MacMurphy who later became known as the Creggan outlaw and the outlaw poet. He returned to his native parish as parish priest in 1704 at the age of 54 and resided with his own kinsfolk for twenty-seven years. He celebrated Mass at the two local Mass-rocks and at friendly houses during these difficult years. He died around 1731 and was buried in Creggan.


(07 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard')

This headstone, inscribed on both sides, is a memorial to Dr. John McIver, Ardee, and to other members of his family who lived at Ardee and Carnally. In "Seanchas Ardmhacha", in 1972, Cardinal Tomas O'Fiaich wrote: "The later descendants of this family have spelled the surname both MacIvor and MacKeever. The medical tradition must go back a long way in the family as An Doctuir MacIomhair is mentioned in Seamus MacCuarta's poem on Peggy Markey's ale house at Drumbilla in the early 18th century. The Doctor was evidently a well-known 'Character' and some quatrains in an Art Bennet ms. in St. Patrick's College, Armagh, are attributed to him. . ." Bridget McIver was a sister of Fr. Michael Lennon, P.P. of Upper Creggan from 1829 to 1871. Buried here also are the parents of Fr. Nicholas Mclvor, P.P. of Forkhill from 1790 to 1827.

1970 reading of inscriptions:
"HIS; Of your charity pray for the repose of the soul of John Mclver MD of Ardee who died on the 12th of August 1875 aged 45 years, and also of his son Joseph J McIver (solicitor) who died 4th Octr 1905 aged 36years, and of his wife Mary Theresa Mclver who died 19th Octr 1914 aged 79 years, RIP."
" Of your charity pray for the repose of the souls of Terence McIver of Carnally who died on the I1th of January 1874 and his wife Bridget who died on the 12th of May 1854, parents of John McIver MD of Ardee, also their children Mary and Terence all whose remains are underneath interred, RIP".


(E10b in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone is a memorial to the McLean family, Cregganduff. It was erected by Rev. William McLean, grand-uncle of David Lowe, the present Sexton of Creggan Church. Rev. William McLean served most of his ministry in England.


(U3 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone is a memorial to Hugh McMaster, Foxfield, and his daughter, Eliza. On 20th May 1799, Hugh McMaster was appointed a Lieutenant of the Creggan Yeomanry and, on 15th October 1803, he was appointed a Lieutenant of the Armagh Cavalry.

1970 reading of inscription:
"Sacred to the memory of Hugh McMaster Esquire late of Foxfield in this parish who departed this life on the 3rd day of March 1832 aged 91years. And also his daughter Eliza who died on the 4th day of August 1835 aged 49 years".


This headstone, erected by Jem Murphy in 1973, is a memorial to the MacMurphy family, Carnally, the most famous of whom was the 18th century poet and outlaw,

Seamus Mor. Seamus Mor MacMurphy was born around 1720. His closest friend was Peadar O'Doirnin, the Gaelic poet who, with him, founded a school of Gaelic poetry. They held regular sessions at Dunreavy Wood arid Mullaghbane, During the period 1740 to 1745, MacMurphy and O'Doirnin were active agents of the Scottish "Young Pretender", Charles Edward Stuart, and, at the instigation of John Johnston, Roxboro'- "Johnston of the Fews", the tory-hunter- O'Doirnin was proclaimed as ".. a person ill-disposed to the King, a favourite of the Pretender, who stirs up the people to rebel by his treasonable composition. . . .". In 1744, Mac Murphy and O'Doirnin mustered a monster meeting on the top of Slieve Gullion to organise the people, should the "Young Pretender" come to Irelan and, shortly afterwards, John Johnstoll was attacked and barely escaped with his life. Fearing open rebellion, he met Mac Murphy and O'Doirtnn under a flag of truce and air uneasy peace followed. MacMurphy arid O'Doirnin had two weaknesses - drink and women - and their favourite place of retreat was a shebeen on the eastern slopes of the Flagstaff, owned by Patsy MacDacker. The chief attraction there was the shebeen-keeper's daughter, Molly MacDacker. Seamus MacMurphy and Molly MacDacker were in love but the malicious tongues of gossipmongers caused them to quarrel, Molly's love for Seamus turned to hate arid she planned her revenge. She plied Peadar O'Doirnin with plenty of drink, persuaded him to write an insulting poem - "The Heretic Headcutter" - about John Johnston and, taking the poem with her, set out for Johnston's home, at Roxboro'. An account of Molly MacDacker's conversation with John Johnston has come down in tradition:

Johnston: "Was it to insult me that you came here? You'll suffer for this, and so will the man who wrote it".

Molly: "It is because I want revenge myself that I brought you this poem. It was MacMurphy who composed it and there's not a child in the ten townlands of Omeath nor in the eight townlands of Killeavy that's not singing it today".

Johnston: "I see. He has injured you too and you want me to help you to revenge. I'd do it willingly - make no doubt about it that if he gets into my hands, he'll have plenty of material in hell to write a new song about the Headcutter's vengeance. But how to catch him - why, the whole countryside guards him arid brings him news".

Molly: "I'll help you and no one knows better how to do it. My father will help, if he gets a reward - he'd sell his own mother for blood-money. Isn't there a price on MacMurphy's head?".

Johnston: "Fifty pounds - dead or alive".

Molly: "Can I have that in writing, under your own hand?".

Johnston: "You'll get that certainly - when I hear how you're going to manage".

Molly: "I have my plan ready. Next Sunday is the Patron of Killeavy - you know what that means. MacMurphy is to spend Saturday night in our house on the Flagstaff arid take me to the Patron on Sunday. If you do your work properly, he'll never see the Patron - but your men must be early afoot. It you send them at daybreak to the Flagstaff, we'll see to the rest. When MacMurphy is helplessly drunk, I'll call in your soldiers - arid you call take it that his powder will be well soaked. . .".

And so the plot was hatched. And so Seamus MacMurphy was captured by John Johnston. Eight months later, he was tried, sentenced to death arid hanged. He was buried here.

Inscription on headstone:
"McMurphy Carnally".


(G7 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone is a memorial to Patrick O'Callaghan, Ballymacnab. According to Cardinal Tomas O'Fiaich "......a Patrick O'Callaghan of Ballymacnab figures as witness to the marriage settlement made by Daniel O'Neil of Annagad in 1769 on the occasion of the marriage of his daughter Eleanor to John O'Toole of Aughnagurgan." The Patrick O'Callaghan named on the headstone may be the Patrick O'Callaghan who witnessed the marriage settlement.

1970 reading of inscription:
"Sacred to the memory of Patrick O'Callaghan of Ballyminab who departed this life the 4th of May 1788 aged 5(?) 8 years".


(W8 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

The three headstones in this plot are memorials to members and a relation of the O'Callaghan family, Culloville. The O'Callaghans were Catholic landlords in the 18th century and 19th century and some members of the family were magistrates during the first half of the 19th. century. The Owen and Michael O'Callaghan named on the headstones were the distillers satirized by Art MacCooey in his poem "Bodaigh n nEorna" (The Churls of the Barley). Owen lived at Culloville crossroads where the distillery was situated and Michael lived a mile further south, at 'Ivy Lodge'. "The Churls of the Barley", Art MacCooey's most bitter satire, is described by Cardinal Tomas O'Fiaich in "Poets and Scholars of Creggan Parish" as an ". . . attack on the snobbery and 'respectability' of the new Catholic middle-classes who were aping the ways of the gentry and had little time for native cultural values........" and a few verses of his translation gives the flavour of the poem:

"The oul' dame's a sight, her lace is so tight,
Make money! that's all that she'd care to,
To buy silk and satin, a skirt for her bottom,
And a ringlet or two for her hair-do!

The daughter's a snob when she's out on the road,
On the new foreign fashions she seizes:
A hat that's all bound with a gold band around,
And a feather that ploughs through the breezes.

The curse of the friars and the vengeance of Rome
On the breed and the seed of the vipers
Who threaten each day and never would pay
A penny to poets and pipers".

However, not all of the O'Callaghans were as unpatriotic as Art MacCooey had insinuated. In a lament in Irish for John Hoey, executed at Dundalk ill 1798, It is state that if Owen and Michael O'Callaghan had known of his arrest, they would have come to release him. And young James O'Callaghan was suspected of being involved in Robert Emmet's rising of 1803.

Lord Roden informed Dublin Castle: ". . . James O'Callaghan of Culloville ... has lately in the Fews been collecting name of men to turn out in case of actual invasion. . .".

James O'Callaghan escaped to France, became a Colonel in the French army and during the Napoleonic wars, had a dramatic encounter with his neighbour, Lord Andrew Thomas Blayney, Castleblayney. In "The Monaghan 'Story", Fr. peada Livingstone wrote:

".The eleventh Lord, Andrew Thomas, was perhaps the most famous Blayney of all. He was one of the most illustrious soldiers ever to come from County Monaghan and as commander of the eighty-ninth regiment of foot, Blayney's bloodhounds as they were called, he fought with distinction in the Napoleonic wars. He was taken prisoner when making a raid from Gibraltar into Spain and was kept prisoner for some years by the French Government. He wrote an account of his imprisonment. He was captured by one of the O'Callaghans of Culloville, a Colonel in the French army and a prominent United Irishman who escaped after 1798. It is stated that he insisted on Blayney being held to ransom for some of the United Irishmen who were in British prisons. . .". Arthur Johnston, the Dundalk solicitor, was buried here in 1902 and his wife in 1917. He was a son of Dr. James Johnston, Carrickbroad House, a large landowner and one-time High Sheriff for Co. Armagh. When Drumintee Church was consecrated in June 1871, Dr. James Johnston invited all present to Carrickbroad House and entertained them on the lawns.

1970 reading of inscriptions: "IHS This tomb stone was erected by Mr Michael O'Callaghan of Cullaville in memory of his daughter Mary who departed this life the 20th day of April AD 1783 aged 3(?)years"
" Under this stone are deposited the remains of Mary O'Callaghan who departed this life January 27th 1791 aged 12 years.
" GIED. Sacred to the memory of Elizabeth Rose daughter of Arthur Johnston solicitor of Dundalk and grandchild of the late Thomas O'Callaghan Esq of Ivy Lodge born on the 1st and died on the 19th February 1872".


(D2 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This flat headstone, bearing an incised "Red Hand", is a memorial to Daniel and Art Og O'Neill, Annaghad. Daniel O'Neill was engaged in the linen trade and, according to the Cardinal Tomas O'Fiaich, he was probably the last of the O'Neills of the Fews ". . . to maintain some semblance of the family's earlier greatness in the Parish of Creggan. ." He died around 1773.

Art Og O'Neill was Daniel O'Neill's son. He died in 1769 at the age of 26, an event which inspired Art MacCooey to write "Marbhna Airt Oig Ui Neill" (Lament for Young Art O'Neill), his longest, most ambitious and most mournful poem. According to Henry Morris, the Gaelic scholar "- Art Og O'Neill was ". . . The last scion of the chiefs of the Fews whom MacCooey - and perhaps many other - had been building high hopes, and his early death was a severe blow. MacCooey regarded it as a national disaster . . . ."

1970 reading of inscription:
"Here Lyeth the body, of Daniel O'Neill who departed this life Sept... aged 71(?) years father of ... ter(?) ... Arth(?)
Here lyeth the body of Arthur O'Neill who departed this life Au. 11(?) 176 .... aged .. y..


(D1 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone, standing over the O'Neill vault and bearing the inscription "1480 O'Neill 1820", is a memorial to all the O'Neills of the Fews buried in the vault. It was erected in 1973 under the auspices of Eigse Oirialla and, on 29th April of that year, it was unveiled by Senorita Conchita O'Neill, Seville, Spain, a descendant of the O'Neills of the Fews. Sometime during the first half of the last century, the vault was closed by Rector Atkinsonand, over the years, its exact location was forgotten. However, in 1971, it was accidentally re-discovered by three local men - Jem Murphy, Silverbridge, Michael Hearty, Drumbally and Owen Keenan (R.I.P.), Tullynavall - who were doing maintenance work in the graveyard. The vault is approximately eleven feet long, ten feet wide and six feet high and it contains a vast pile of bones and over seventy skulls. According to tradition, it was after Art MacCooey had spent a night hidden in the vault that he composed his best-known poem. "Urchill An Chreagain" (The Noble Churchyard of Creggan). Of this, Cardinal Tomas O'Fiaich wrote: ". . . Down in that home of the dead, with the corpses of so many generations strewn around him, MacCooey felt the despair and hopelessness of his beaten people. A fair maid appeared in a vision and invited him to accompany her to the land of promise. Though reluctant to leave home and family ties, he is ultimately won by her arguments that Ireland had been conquered. In the final verse he agrees to accompany her, but on condition that, wherever he may die, he will be brought back to Creggan for burial. . .". A new entrance, with all underground ladder, leads to the vault and visitors wishing to see it may do so by making arrangements with any member of the Creggan Historical Society.


(d1 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

Standing in what is known as the "Ball Enclosure", this headstone is a memorial to Elizabeth Page, daughter of Captain Sam Ball, Crossmaglen, a descendant of Thomas Ball, the military adventurer who was granted 5911 acres of land in the Baron of Upper Fews at the time of the Cromwellian Plantation. Thomas Ball may have lived at, or on the site of, "Woodvale House" for some time, as the Hearth Money Rolls of 1664 record that he paid on four hearths in the townland of Glassdrummond. "Woodvale House", occupied by the Johnstons of the Fews in the 18th. century, stood in the townland of Glassdrummond. The name of the village adjacent to the house may have been changed by the Johnstons from Ballynaclera to Ballsmill. The Ball surname is also preserved in Camlyball, a townland near Newtownhamilton.

1970 reading of inscription:
"Elizabeth Page born 1807. Died 12th June 1831. This tablet a slight but tender tribute to her virtues is erected by her affectionate husband Robert Luke Page MD".



(F7 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This flat headstone, now almost totally illegible, is a memorial to Fr. Terence Quinn, P. P. of Creggan Parish from 1741 to 1767. Fr. Terence Quinn was born in 1715 and he was probably a native of the Cullyhanna district. He studied for the priesthood in Spain and obtained a doctorate in theology at the Irish College, Salamanca. In 1741, he was appointed P.P. of Creggan Parish. According to some of the South-Armagh poets, he was a "big-man's-man", very overbearing in manner and very fond of money and kind. Art McCooey in particular disliked him and blamed him for his excommunication from the Church and his subsequent banishment from Creggan Parish. If in fact Fr. Quinn was a "big-man's-man", his sister and housekeeper, Mary Quinn, was for sure a "big-man's-woman"! Once, Art MacCooey had occasion to visit the parochial-house and had arrived at the same time as a well-to-do parishioner. Mary invited the well-to-do parishioner into the parlour and gave him a glass of wine, while she left Art standing in the kitchen with a mug of buttermilk! Stung by the slight, Art resorted to a poet's most deadly weapon - scathing satire - and seizing upon a eye defect which she had, wrote a poem about her called "Blind Mary Quinn". Two verses of Cardinal Tomas O'Fiaich's translation gives the flavour of the poem:

"A handsome young fella is not what would please her-
Who'd give her a kiss and maybe would squeeze her-
But the bloke with a present of spuds for the bin,
'Tis he'd drink the punch with blind Mary Quinn.

MacCooey the poet she reckoned unable
To drink with the gentry or sit at the table,
But in some nook or cranny, left perched on his legs,
He drained all his buttermilk down to the dregs".

Later, after his reconciliation with the Church and his return to Creggan, Art made amends for his insult to Mary by composing a fulsome tribute called "The Fair-haired Lass of the Quinns" which, according to Cardinal Tomas O'Fiaich ". is metrically perfect and patently insincere. . . ."!

In 1767, Fr. Terence Quinn was transferred to Tandragee/Mullabrack Parish. He died in 1775 and was buried in Creggan Graveyard.

1970 reading of inscription:
"IHS. Here lyeth the body of the Reverend Doctor Terence Quin late pastor of the parish of Creggan who departed this life the 22nd of June 1775 aged 60 years".


(R1 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone, erected by his sister and nephew, is a memorial to John Reed, Rahans, near Carrickmacross. John Reed was a landlord and magistrate. He married the niece of Captain James McCullagh, Camlymacullagh, and owned part of the McCullagh estate. There is another memorial to him in Donaghmoyne Parish Church which reads. "In loving memory of John Reed Esqr of Rahans for many years churchwarden of this parish. This table was erected by his brother James and Willian Reed".

1970 reading of inscription:
"Sacred to the memory of John Reed of Rahans Esqr who departed this life 4th June 1860 in the 91st year of his age. This stone is erected by his sister and nephew in memory of the great love and deep respect in which he was deservedly held not only by them but by all with whom he was connected. 'Blessed are the dead which lie in the Lord from henceforth.. yea saith the Spirit that they may rest front their labour. PLV XIV 13".


(E9a in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone, erected by Dr. Vaughan alias McVeagh, Castleblayney, is a memorial to members of the Vaughan/McVeagh family. It is possible that the 18th. century Gaelic poet, Fergus MacVeagh, is buried here.

1970 reading of inscription:
"IHS. Erected by Dr. Vaughan alias McVeagh of Castle Blayney in memory of his Father Dr. James who dept this life August the 1st 1784 aged 75(?) years. Also his brother Dr Fergus who depd August 7th 1784 aged 26years. Also three of his children & (?) posterity A D (?) ".


(d6 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone is a memorial to John Wallace, Cloghog Lodge, and his wife, Jane. John Wallace, an attorney-at-law, was the owner by lease of Kilrockan Mill, on the borders of Annaghmare and Kiltybane, and was one of the few people in the district licenced to carry arms in 1816. Cloghog Lodge, the former home of the Lowe family, stands beside William Lowe's new bungalow.

1970 reading of inscription:
"Here are deposited the remains of John Wallace Cloghog Lodge Attorney at Law who died 30th January 1827aged 67years and of Jane his wife who died 13th April 1823 aged 55 years leaving behind them an unsullied character an example of honour integrity humanity and resignation to the will of Providence taking with them to this grave the sighs and tears and the prayers of the poor".


(I7 in "Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard")

This headstone, erected by Dr. James Woods, Dundalk, is a memorial to his parents, Peter Woods and Rose Treanor, Loughross. Dr. James Woods was a Gaelic poet and scribe and he was born at Loughross around 1758. Originally, he had intended becoming a priest and, with this in view, he went to study at one of the Irish Colleges on the continent, possibly Louvain. However, due to ill health, he gave up the idea and returned to Ireland. He then took up the study of medicine and, after all apprenticeship with a Dundalk doctor or chemist and a period of study at Apothecaries Hall, Dublin, he qualified as an apothecary and set up a medical practitioner in Dundalk. He married Anne Tyrrell, a Protestant lady much younger. than himself, who survived him by over thirty years. Towards the end of his life, in 1826, he organised the famous "Bardic Contention" in Duildalk and planned a project for the erection of memorials to the poets of Oriel. He died on 6th January 1828 and was later buried at Creggan, presumably here with his parents.

1970 reading of inscription:
"IHS. This stone was erected by Jas. Woods in memory of his parents Mr. Peter Woods of Loughross who died March the 25th 1778 aged 57years, and Rose Treanor who made her exile June the ... the 1783".