Final Phase of Lisheen Road Commences.

The Lisheen with Seymour's Mausoleum

Work on the final phase of the road to the old Lisheen Cemetery has begun today, 9th October 2001, following a very long process of getting Planning Permission and a Licence from Dúchas to proceed. During recent trial excavations under the close observations by a licensed Archaeologist, the remains of two human skeletons were discovered in an area outside the Cemetery but within the boundary of the ancient Lios. This confirmed the local belief that burials took place in that Lios long before the Cemetery wall was constructed. The skeletons that were found were less than a metre from the surface.

The word Lisheen (Lisín in Gaelic) means small Lios. Ireland is full of Lioses. They are mostly round although our Lisheen is slightly oval. They were originally dwelling places in ancient times and the homes that were built on them were surrounded by a protective bank of earth and a shallow moat of water. Although nobody may have lived within a Lios for over 500 hundred years, the Irish people never disturbed them. They were treated as sacred places of our ancestors. The practice of burying people in them became quite common especially unbaptised children who died before or during birth. Folklore frowned on anyone who would interfere with a lios and the fear of the "Fairies" was enough to deter everyone. Our Lisheen also contains a fine example of a Family Mausoleum built in the 19th Century by the Seymours of nearby Ballymore Castle.

Seymour Mausoleum

This project started out in July 2000, as a Millennium Heritage Project, organised by the Lawrencetown Community Enterprise Company. To get the work done a

A Community Employment Scheme was organised by Galway County Council and FAS with Mr. Michael Broderick, father of the great Galway hurler, Kevin Broderick, acting as Supervisor. The land for the project was generously donated by three local land-owners, Jim Brien, John Walsh and Marty Naughton, three exceptional members of our Community to whom we are most grateful. The Architect who did the design for the project, Mr. Dónal Burke of Kilaltanagh, Banagher, also gave his services free.

The work includes the following: A new access roadway of 500 Metres to the Lisheen Cemetery; two stone bridges over the local Lawrencetown River; restoration of the old village well; preservation of the stone ring where the local Blacksmith brought his wheels to be shod with iron rims long ago; provision of a picnic area and a paddling pool for little children by the river; roadside hedgerows of beech, whitethorn and holly; stone walls, piers and new gates and turnstiles.

The cost of the project is being borne mostly by FAS and the County Council and to a lesser extent by ourselves. We expect to have the project fully finished by early summer of next year. By then we should have easy access to an area of great Heritage, Environmental, Historical, Wildlife and Farmlife interest.

The idea for this project was first mooted at a meeting some years ago in Lawrencetown Hall which was organised by Bill Dervan. Among the attendance were his late brother Joe Dervan, R.I.P., Very Rev. Christy O'Byrne P.P., Jim Brien, William Egan and James Joyce N.T.