Headstone erected for soldier has gone missing from Limerick graveyard

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

A HEADSTONE erected in memory of a soldier killed in the Civil War has gone AWOL in County Limerick.

A HEADSTONE erected in memory of a soldier killed in the Civil War has gone AWOL in County Limerick.

It stood for close to a century at Crossagalla on the Old Cork Road but now has disappeared says local councillor Eddie Wade.

The Southern Ring Road runs directly under the site in Crossagalla and Cllr Wade believes it was removed when works were being carried out.

“I enquired about its whereabouts from one of the engineers in the council who would have dealt with the NRA. I asked him would he look it up for me. I thought maybe it’s in storage. He looked it up and it wasn’t in storage. Nobody knew anything. It’s just disappeared. It has to be somewhere,” said Cllr Wade.

It shows a complete lack of respect to the history of this country says the Fianna Fail councillor.

“I’m very disappointed. We should always think of the people that fought for this country and people who went before us. It was a memorial that people would say a prayer when they passed and bless themselves. It shows disrespect to the people who erected it,” he said, and added that every Easter Sunday somebody placed a bunch of flowers there.

The old style five foot high headstone with a Celtic Cross was erected in memory of Lieutenant Thomas Slattery, of Osbourne Terrace in Limerick City.

Local historian, Harry Greensmyth, said Lieutenant Slattery was killed in the course of the Republican retreat from Limerick in July 1922. The memorial was put in place shortly after and Cllr Wade can remember often stopping at the monument when he was cycling in to Limerick as a boy.

“He was the only man of the around 50 or 60 who was killed on that particular retreat,” said Mr Greensmyth.

Cllr Wade called on the council that if it can’t be found soon that Limerick County council get another headstone to replace it.

Council staff asked to see a picture of the headstone and they will look in to replacing it.

When the work was being carried out on the Southern Ring Road it is understood that as the client Limerick County Council should have been notified if a contractor or sub-contractor found anything unusual with regard to artefacts or findings.

A spokesperson for the National Roads Authority said they will check with the county council to find out if there was any acknowledgment of moving this headstone.