Waterford County Museum, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Charity Reg: 17397
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Marble and Stone Memorials - Hannigan Family Monument, St. Mary's Parish Church


This is one of the largest and most elaborate memorials in the cemetery. The main inscription reads: ‘Sacred to the memory of John Hannigan who departed this life April 10th, 1864, aged 63’.  Another side has the following inscription: ‘Ellen Hannigan died Dungarvan November 13th, 1883 aged 69.  And her son James Hannigan, Late Town Clerk who died January 19th, 1885, aged 42. Also, Margaret Agnes beloved wife of James Hannigan who died February 1886 aged 31, and their two children…… and Helen who died young’.

In January 1855 John Hannigan was elected as one of the first Dungarvan Town Commissioners.  He was described as a ‘shopkeeper’ aged 50 with a property valuation of £12, the lowest of all the Commissioners.  In February 1858 he became a shareholder in the new Dungarvan Gasworks.

John was a pawnbroker by profession and in 1848 he and another pawnbroker, Edward Kennefick, answered a query from Mr Burke, Poor Law Inspector, about the effect of the Famine on their business.  In 1862 there is a reference in the council minutes referring to Hannigan’s ‘new house’ in Bridge Street.

When he died in 1864 the Waterford News of 15 April published an obituary of him:

On the 10th inst, Mr John Hannigan, Square, Dungarvan, after a long and protracted illness which he bore with Christian fortitude…The deceased was charitably disposed and gave without ostentation to the needy and afflicted.  A large circle of relatives and friends sympathise with his afflicted wife, who has lost a kind and affectionate husband.

His son James was appointed Town Clerk on 4 January 1884 and was paid £50 per annum. On his death a year later, Thomas Fitzgerald was appointed in his place.

The grave monument is impressive, built of limestone with a square base over which there are deeply carved Greek style motifs, on top of which is a Celtic cross. Who was the stonemason? If there is a maker’s name it is not immediately visible. 

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