COMMUNITY SPIRIT AWARD FOR VOLUNTEER GROUP CONSERVING HISTORIC GRAVEYARD
Templebreedy SOS use sheep and goats to uncover hidden graves
Templebreedy SOS (Save our Steeple) is the latest monthly winner of this year’s Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Awards. The campaign was set up to conserve St Matthew’s Church and graveyard in an eco-friendly manner and sheep and goats have been brought in to uncover historic graves.
90% of the graveyard has been invisible for 60 years or more and in some cases, families couldn’t afford headstones so the graves were completely hidden. Hundreds of volunteers, including the Camden Fort Meagher volunteers, have uncovered many marker stones and these are being recorded on a Historic Graves website.
Goats were part of Templebreedy SOS’s work last summer, but now sheep have taken control. For protection, the sheep are surrounded by high fencing, which is moved every seven to ten days to greener pastures.
The group was nominated for the Community Spirit Award as they have given great pleasure to the volunteers, locals, visitors and people living abroad who know that their ancestors’ graves are being looked after.
General Manager of the Cork International Hotel, Eoghan Murphy said: “This one-of-a-kind, distinctive initiative has never been seen before. It is not only an eco-friendly sustainable effort but also a great initiative to unearth historic graves, which also bring to the forefront that cemeteries are of great importance, especially to family and friends. The perseverance and unconditional support by the volunteers has brought a positive change among the people of Templebreedy. We are delighted to honour Templebreedy SOS with the latest monthly award and we hope they continue with this excellent work.”
The Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Awards are sponsored by The Carrigdhoun Newspaper and Gerald McCarthy Giftware.
The judging panel for the Community Spirit Awards are made up of a mixture of representatives from the public and private sector within the community.
The judging panel for this award was:
- Carmel Lonergan, Group Director of Operations, Trigon Hotels
- Nicola Radley, Senior Executive Officer, Municipal District Operations & Rural Development at Cork County Council
- Vincent O’Donovan, Publisher of The Carrigdhoun Newspaper