This work would never have been possible without the generous funding provided by the EU’s Peace IV Programme, which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.


Dundalk Select Vestry is pleased to be able to bring to the public this online photographic and textual record of the grave memorials of St Nicholas’s Churchyard, Dundalk, and also of the memorial tablets erected within St Nicholas’s Church. These memorials, dating mostly from 1750 to 1900, include the names of many people who participated in the economic, social and administrative life of Dundalk during that period. As many of the grave memorials are now significantly weathered, we are very much indebted to the comprehensive work done in the 1940s by HG Tempest who in 1944 produced a plan of the churchyard showing the location of all memorial stones, and a handwritten record of all inscriptions. He, in turn, referred to the earlier records of Philip Crossle, who undertook similar work in 1910. We have also relied on Noel Ross’s painstaking transcriptions of the memorial inscriptions in the church which were published in the County Louth Archaeological and Historical Journal in 2004.

The Vestry would like to acknowledge all those who assisted in developing and funding this website. Our thanks are due to Newspics for the photography and virtual tours; to Hibernian Genealogy Research for much additional historical information; and to Focus Web Solutions for the website design. However, this work would never have been possible without the generous funding provided by the EU’s Peace IV Programme, which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. The project formed part of the Small Grants Programme of Louth County Council’s Local Authority Action Plan and was managed by Mr Aiden O’Boyle of the Louth and Meath Education and Training Board. To all who have contributed in any way towards preserving and displaying this important set of records, we are deeply grateful.

Colin Lloyd (Glebewarden) and Trevor Patterson (Secretary), Dundalk Select Vestry, May 2021.

St Nicholas’s Churchyard Memorials Project

St Nicholas’s Church, which serves the local Church of Ireland (Anglican / Episcopalian) community in Dundalk, is the oldest in the town, and its churchyard was for many centuries an important burial site before it was closed for burials in 1896. However, with just a small number of exceptions, all grave memorials in the churchyard date from the mid eighteenth century to the late nineteenth century. Many memorial tablets from the same period are erected on the walls within the church. During this period of time, between approximately 1750 and 1900, Dundalk developed considerably as a centre for industry, commerce and public administration, and the memorials in the church and churchyard commemorate many people linked with the economic, professional and civic life of the town for most of the period between the Williamite wars of the 1690s and national independence.

While the social, religious and cultural divisions of the past have faded, St Nicholas’s Church and churchyard, and its memorials, are still not familiar to very many Dundalk people. Because the church and churchyard are normally closed to the public, it is not easy for people to have ready access to the memorials of people who were very much associated with the development of the town. Besides, many of the grave memorials have weathered and are not always easily legible.

This EU PEACE IV-funded cross-community project is of cultural significance as it provides, via a new website, an easily searchable online historical record of high quality photographic images of these memorials, as well as the texts of their inscriptions. This will help Dundalk people become better acquainted with the existence of an eighteenth and nineteenth century community, now long gone, which played a major role in shaping their town’s history, and whose names are often preserved in the street names of their town. The website also features additional historical research which provides further information or context for some of those commemorated. Included in the project are a number of churchyard open days during the summer of 2021, with a short talk on each of these days. In order to achieve this, Louth County Council’s Small Grants Programme has approved a grant of €10,551 to Dundalk Select Vestry from the EU’s Peace IV Programme, which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland. The churchyard memorials project was managed by Mr Aiden O’Boyle of LMETB.