St. Nahi's, Dundrum

St. Nahi's, Dundrum

Some of the graveyards in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown illustrate perfectly the wealth of information that can be gleaned from headstones and other monuments. The first of these is St.Nahi's graveyard, located adjacent to the Dundrum-Churchtown Road.

The earliest headstone dates from 1734 and today there are 467 headstones with inscriptions in the graveyard. Over the years the graveyard has been extended and the infrastructure around it has also changed, today the Luas line runs near the site. Many of the stones have been subjected to weathering, although the remainder offer some interesting insights into the past.

Perhaps the best -known figures to be buried here are the Yeats Sisters, Susan and Elizabeth known as Lily and Lolly. Lolly was to gain a reputation as an art teacher and a printer. She joined with Emer Gleeson in 1902 to work in Dun Emer Industries, providing girls with education in a range of skills including art, weaving embroidery and printing.

Lolly setup a printing business here and the first book published was In the Seven Woods by W.B.Yeats., who acted as editor of the publishing company. Jack Yeats illustrated some of the material printed, so the venture was family orientated.

Lily worked in Dun Emer also and was an embroideress. The Loughrea Cathedral banners are the most famous of the embroidered items, although four hang in St.Nahi's Church in Dundrum today.In 1908 the two sisters founded their own printing press known as Cuala Industries.

The business thrived and was in later years managed by the wife of W.B.Yeats, George, due to the sisters declining health. Cuala ceased production in 1946 and Lily died in 1949, buried with Lolly in St. Nahi's Graveyard.

Another local resident buried there is Isaac William Usher. He was the local G.P. in the area and as such was widely respected. Dr. Usher lived in Laurel Lodge in Dundrum and had two children. His son was killed in the First World War and was buried in France.

A memorial was also erected to another person buried in the graveyard, Lorcan Mac Suibhne (Lawrence McSweeney). He was a member of the I.R.A., the 1st Battalion of the 2nd Dublin Brigade.

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