Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nicker Church and Cemetery

Pallasgreen or Pallasgrean (Irish: Pailís Ghréine, meaning "stockade of Grian") is a village in East County Limerick, situated on the Limerick–Tipperary N24 road. The name means "the Stockade of Grian," referring to an ancient Irish Goddess of Love, whose is associated with the a nearby hill of Nicker. Wikipedia

As mentioned in an earlier post, our new friend, Bill, directed us to the Church located on Nicker Hill. The geology of the hill is interesting in itself, and a grotto was dug into the hillside.  After the gothic churches I had become so familiar with in Germany and in the cities of Ireland, I was initially surprised by its overall simplicity.

Near the grotto and to one side of the church yard were the graves of several priests who had served this church.  The church was not open, but we were able to get in the vestibule and see that parts of it were undergoing restoration.  A couple of men working on the landscape told us that the church had a new pastor, and he encouraged them to really work on fixing up the church, its surroundings, and the cemetery located a couple of miles away in Old Pallas.

Right across the street was a field with very pastoral views of the surrounding countryside. It really was very rural.

We followed the directions given to us to find the old cemetery in Old Pallas.  One of the things I found most interesting was that most of what we would call grave markers, appeared to be memorial markers instead.  A marker would be engraved with the names of several family members and often more than one generation.  They would say that they were erected "In Memory Of..." The parishioners told us that until the new pastor arrived, the cemetery had become quite overgrown.

It was clear that the cemetery had originally been placed alongside a church that was now in ruins.

Many of the grave markers were dedicated to Ryans and Dwyers. I got really excited when I saw a grave marker that listed Matthew Ryan, father of Jeremiah.  "Our" Matthew allegedly died in 1855 and I believe he had a son named Jeremiah.  Upon closer examination, I noticed that this Matthew died in 1955.  I'm sure they were all related, as all of the Ryans and Dwyers in the area were "cousins".

                                                                It reads:  Erected by
                                                                JEREMIAH RYAN
                                                              In memory of his father
                                                               MATTHEW RYAN
                                                             son of DARBY RYAN
                                                               and MARY KELLY

I love old cemeteries -- just ask my sister, Karen, and my niece, Julie.  If you want to see more of the grave markers, click on this link to the Pallasgreen Photoshow.  You can pause on the grave markers and watch them 'til your heart is content.  Pallasgreen, County Limerick


  1. thankyou very much for putting this on line. My 2nd gr grandfather thomas hayes was born in nicker in 1826 and it is good to see views of the area.
    I hope to visit soon myself.

  2. I specifically remember seeing Hayes in the Cemetery and other places because I work with someone with that surname. I hope you get to go -- it's really wonderful.

  3. Hi Kathy
    It looks like I will be going to Nicker in April for a short visit. Can you tell me where you found the information about your ancestors births deaths etc. in this area of Ireland. I would be grateful for any information. Thankyou

  4. Rachel,
    Email me at and put "Nicker" in the subject line. I'll tell you what I know. I'm thrilled it looks like you will be able to go there.

  5. Yeh thanks like anon a reletive of mine(James Liston) was born in grean in 1807 which I belive is in nicker...or nicker is in grean.


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