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Graveyards are fertile places for the imagination and for image hunting. The picture (above) is from a burial place quite close to where I live, which, if one must be buried, is as beautiful and tranquil a spot as can be imagined. Skibbereen and its hinterland were one of the hardest hit by the Famine, 1847 being particularly destructive. One of Ireland’s foremost economic historians, Cormac Ó’Gráda, examines the disaster in his Black ’47 and Beyond.

This graveyard no doubt harbours many unmarked victims of that period. It is estimated that between 8,000 and 10,000 unidentified bodies are buried in Abbeystrewery graveyard closer to the town.