Killernan Graveyard

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Index to alphabetical listing
Full listing of epitaphs 2007
Aerial view
St. Ernan's Holy Well
Our Lady's Holy Well


The name ‘Killernan’ means the Church of Ernan and traces of a substantial ecclesiastical site can still be seen in the vicinity of the graveyard – to the east. In fact the ruined walls of the old church were in existence within living memory. They were demolished and the stone used for local farm buildings.
In the papal taxation of 1302, which lists the parishes, as they were then, in Co. Clare there is listed the parish of ‘Killargenayn’ which has not been satisfactorily identified and it may refer to Killernan as being a parish in its own right at that time. Writing about this in his article The Churches of County Clare , T J Westropp says “While in the see of Killaloe there were parishes now forgotten at Killargenayn*-------------- but their churches have vanished without leaving a trace.. . . "
In the O Brien Survey of 1615 the townland name is spelled ‘Killarynayne’.
According to folklore St. Colmcille, while visiting Clonmacnoise, took some time out to visit the west. Together with St, Ernan he travelled to the Burren and rested there. Glencolmcille was named for him. They then journeyed on through Kilfenora and towards Mount Callan where Ernan decided to found his monastery – at Killernan.
The listing here gives 354 inscriptions prepared mostly during 2004-05. Most of the stones have been photographed and many of them have interesting carvings executed during the 19th century.
The listing was greatly facilitated by the recent FÁS scheme, by which all the overgrowth was removed and gravel introduced between the existing flags.
There are two holy wells in the immediate vicinity of the graveyard. One is dedicated to Our Lady and is very well maintained, the other is devoted to St Ernan and receives somewhat less attention. ‘Rounds’ were performed at the former well on the 8th September, 25th March and on the 15th August and many miraculous cures were attributed to it.

Donal De Barra,
January 2007


>Sample (low res) photographs below