Not being sound of limb brings with it some unexpected advantages ,as I have discovered nursing a shoulder injury over the past four weeks. When the old injury (originally incurred in a mad fit when I insisted on using the rotovator on my garden…ouch, I still remember the tearing ache) returned to this ailing old frame of mine, it came with a piercing vengeance invading my left shoulder and arm with excruciating pain. And the action that turns this pain storm into a full blown tornado is the simple act of changing gears whist driving , so for the present I have been forcibly pedestrianised and depending on the good offices of my aunt,Bridie to chauffer me for doctor’s appointments, shopping etc,.
Padraig O Briain, the Blind Piper who also rests here would be a far more agreeable companion. He was born at Labasheeda in County Clare to a well off farming family receiving an excellent education and becoming an avid scholar of the classics. Sadly however by the time he was 26, O Briain had lost his sight and was compelled to take to the road as a travelling musician to make a living. He settled in Limerick city where he would sit playing his uilleann pipes on the corner of Harstonge Street and the Crescent. One day the Piper was spotted by the famous Galway artist, Patrick Haverty who painted the scene, creating the painting, ‘The Blind Piper’. In the painting the aging musician is pictured with his beautiful young daughter stting patiently beside her gifted father. After the clean up in 1983 there were over 100 marked graves here with an untold number lost to time and sealed forever beneath the lush green grass of Kilquane. We left the old cemetery with all it’s historical associations, still swaddled in the warm mid-day sunshine, sure at least that Frank’s final resting place was of his choosing and stirred that the remembrances of his life would become part of the rich tableaux that is Kilquane. I am indebted to 'The History and Folklore of Parteen and Meelick' by Donail Riain and Seamus O Cinneide for the historical information about Kilquane.