On Sunday 19th May, 23 Sisters set off from Harold’s Cross at 9.00am for a Remembrance Service for our Deceased Sisters in Clonmel. We were delighted to see Mick, the bus driver, with his bright yellow bus! Mick had driven us to Ballaghadereen some months ago and so we felt we were meeting an old friend!
The journey was very pleasant and we enjoyed the beauty of the green trees and fields and the bright May blossom on the bushes on the roadside. Our coffee break this time was just outside Kilkenny in the Hoban Hotel, where we were treated to mouth-watering fresh scones by the cheerful and friendly staff. We arrived in Clonmel at 12.30, thanks to Sr. Helen Butler who was able to navigate the one-way streets through Clonmel for the bus driver. The rain began to fall but four smiling faces greeted us at our destination in Gladstone Street – the Sisters from Tramore who had driven by car to join us.
Helen led us through a narrow entrance beside the Church, close to our old Convent, to the little plot of land where our 22 Sisters are buried. The first Sister died in 1864 at the age of 24 and the last Sister to be buried there was Sr. Francis Gabriel Guerin in 1997, age 88. The youngest Sister was only 21 years old and five others also died in their twenties and thirties. May they all rest in peace. The graves are unmarked but each Sister has her name on a Cross on the wall. Our little Remembrance Service was very prayerful and we were delighted to be joined by some staff from Marian Court, a Residential Centre for the elderly which opened on 1st September 1983 and which is still flourishing. A bouquet of bright and colourful summer flowers was laid at the large crucifix by Srs. Helen Butler and Margaret Nolan who were the last Sisters to leave Clonmel. Srs. Catherina Kenny and Geraldine Byrne blessed and incensed the Crosses over the graves. Our yellow bus was waiting for us afterwards and Mick drove us to the Minella Hotel where we enjoyed a delicious lunch.
Before we left Clonmel Mick drove us to St Patrick’s Cemetery where Sr. Carmel Kelly is buried. Sr. Carmel died in 2009. We prayed at her beautiful grave and Sr. Joanna Flannery laid some roses. Tired but happy we said goodbye to the Sisters from Tramore and arrived back in Dublin after 6.00pm.