Shanrahan Cemetery, Clogheen, Co. Tipperary.


Shanrahan Cemetery

Shanrahan is the name of the cemetery in Clogheen, Co. Tipperary. It formerly referred to the entire parish, but this is now the parish of Burncourt and Clogheen. Shanrahan is now generally used to refer to the area around the graveyard on the Ballyporeen road from Clogheen and the substantial townsland of the same name at both sides of the this road.

History of Shanrahan Graveyard

The cemetery (graveyard) is most famous as the resting place of Fr. Sheehy, Clogheen’s former parish priest and its most famous citizen.


Shanrahan Church Ruin, Clogheen

Sheehy spoke out against the Penal Laws, the eviction of poor tenants by landlords, the elimination of common land by enclosure, and tithes (taxes). Father Sheehy believed tithes were unjust since they were levied on the poorest residents (Catholics) to benefit the wealthiest (typically Protestants, including Protestant ministers). Furthermore, Father Sheehy was opposed to the British occupation of Irish lands.

Fr. Sheehy's Grave, Shanrahan

Fr. Sheehy’s Grave, in front of Shanrahan Tower

Sheehy was tried for conspiracy against the State and acquitted. He was then accused of involvement in the disappearance or murder of an informer and, following the offer of a large reward, he was tried in Dublin for High Treason, and acquitted. Immediately after he was charged with murder, tried and found guilty on the evidence of a paid informer. He was hanged, drawn and quartered in 1766.

Celtic Cross at Shanrahan, Clogheen

Celtic Cross at Shanrahan, Clogheen

The cemetery is now the graveyard for the Clogheen part of the parish of Clogheen & Burncourt, although it is, at this stage, almost full. It is a wonderfully historic graveyard in a spectacularly pretty location at the foot of the Knockmealdown Mountain of Knockshanahullion beside the river Duag.

Two walls of the tower are also renowned for  holding well preserved Sile na Gigh carvings (Wikipedia).

This site cannot supply a full history of Shanrahan Graveyard, but there is one in a book entitled ‘Little God’s Acre – A History of Shanrahan Churchyard’ written by local historian Ed O’Riordan if you wish to get it. You’ll find information on purchasing it here.

The Historic Graves Project at Shanrahan

The Historic Graves Project recorded all the headstones and tombs in Shanrahan Graveyard in October 2012. There is an excellent piece here by Louise Nugent on the whole process carried out to gather the invaluable information contained in the headstones throughout the graveyard.

Where is Shanrahan?

You will find Shanrahan Graveyard at the following Loc8 Code – Q25-86-BN5.

If you would like to walk to Shanrahan from the village of Clogheen, take a look at our Walks page where Walk No. 4 in the Galty Vee Valley section will take you past the cemetery.