Marble and Stone Memorials - Condon Memorial, St. Mary's Parish Church

This impressive memorial in limestone is situated in the front section of the cemetery.  There is no visible sign of the stone mason’s name. The main inscription reads:

Of your charity pray for the repose of the soul of Mrs Catherine Condon alias Whelan who died on the 14th of January 1865 aged 67 years. And of her son John Condon who died on the 21 of November 1866 aged 40 years.

Beneath this are later inscriptions which include: Michael F. Keane B.E. Local Government Inspector who died on 9 November 1950 and Margaret Condon who died on 7 April 1904.  Her son Rev. John Condon O.S.A. died 18 Dec. 1941 (Interred in Glasnevin).  On another panel members of the Clancy family are recorded.

The Rev. John Condon was born in Dungarvan in 1867 and was an only child.  He studied in the Augustinian seminary and completed his secondary education at Castleknock College.  There he became a close friend of D.P. Moran, founder and editor of The Leader.  Condon’s obituary noted that: ‘They were kindred spirits forthright and uncompromising in their condemnation of that national apathy and ‘Shoneenism’ which characterised the Ireland of their early days.  Father Condon…became a frequent and valued contributor to his papers’.

He was ordained in Rome in 1889.  He spent brief periods in New Ross, Cork and London but spent most of his life in Dublin.  He went to America and Canada to raise funds for St John’s Lane.  He was a chaplain in the North Sea during WWI.

He was acquainted with fellow Dungarvan native, the artist, Michael Augustine Power O’Malley.  In 1915 Father Condon published a book of short stories titled: The Crackling of Thorns which was illustrated with six drawings by Power O’Malley.  It was published by M. H. Gill, Dublin and sold for 3 shillings and 6 pence.  The book was reviewed in a number of Irish publications.  The Irish Monthly (July 1915, p.469):

‘We have in Father Condon still another Irish priest who has a real gift for storytelling.  The ten stories and sketches…are distinctly above the ordinary run of such collections.  The scenes are placed in America, Rome, and Ireland, here Dungarvan and its neighbourhood are especially favoured.  The six illustrations by M Power O’Malley are a genuine addition to the book which is well turned out except for its too plain and unattractive cover’.

It was also reviewed in the Irish Volunteer (29 May 1915):

‘Father Condon draws from life and writes about what he has seen and felt.  Some of his sketches reveal the petty hideousness which a phase of American life has to offer…and he tells of the loneliness, poverty, and false pride of many exiles’.

Father Condon died at the hospice at Harold’s Cross, Dublin, on 18 December 1941 and was buried in Glasnevin.  A report on the funeral noted that the chief mourners were D. Greaney (cousin) and Mrs D. Greaney

Rev. John Condon

"The Crackling of Thorns" by Rev. John Condon