Swinford Famine and Paupers Graveyard Project
One of the many projects undertaken by Swinford Tidy Towns is the restoration of Swinford Famine and Paupers Graveyard. The Famine plot was originally restored in the 1960’s. The Paupers Graveyard was restored in the early 1990’s by a local Fás team. The mass Famine Plot which is located at the rear of Swinford District Hospital is currently maintained by the HSE. The Famine and Paupers Graveyard which is located across the road from the district hospital, fell back into disrepair in the early 2000’s unfortunately. Swinford Tidy Towns undertook the restoration of Swinford Famine and Paupers Graveyard in early 2013.
The Famine and Paupers Graveyards are a part of the popular annual historical walk during Síamsa Sráide by Michael Comer.
As you can see from the photo above the Paupers Graveyard was well overgrown at the start of the project. The overgrowth was over six foot high in places. One of the few marked graves above when reveled was sadly in a poor state of repair. The headstone above is of the grave of Dr Henry. Dr Henry worked in the workhouse during the Famine years. His dying wish was to be buried with the patients he treated during the Famine. We are not sure if his wife is also buried with him here.
Swinford Tidy Towns volunteers put in a lot of long days and evenings restoring the Famine and Paupers graveyard. All the clearing of all the overgrowth had to be done by hand.