Seventy-eighth annual report of the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland, with appendices, 1909-10

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Timoleague Franciscan House was illustrated and described in the Board's Report for last year, and the repairs then commenced were this year carried through to completion. 
Considerable difficulty is experienced here with the promiscuous interments which take place in the absence of any burial regula¬ tions. 
The area within the walls is regarded merely as a desirable burying ground not alone for the locality, but for persons from a distance. 
The court¬ yard, in which there were no burials in 1878, is now overcrowded. 
At the tower of Skreen Church in County Meath, which is much resorted to on account of the extensive view to be obtained from its summit, the floors and stairs have been strengthened and protected to avoid possible accidents. 
The Augustinian Priory of Athassell, County Tipperary, at which initial repairs had been executed in 1882, had become dangerously overgrown with vegetation. 
The ivy was removed from the walls, and some large trees with overhanging branches had to be cut down; considerable repairs v/ere found to be necessary to make good the ravages of the ivy, and a general clearing up of the area within the walls was attempted. 
The presence of a large number of graves, some of them within the walls where the stone-vaulted roof still remains, makes it difficult to maintain the precincts with an aspect of decency. 
At Kilcrea Friary, County Cork—one of the structures in that County described and illustrated in last year's report—extensive repairs were carried on and completed during the present year. 
In that Report attention was drawn to the condition in which the graveyard in the interior was kept. 
We are glad to be able to report that at the instance of the Inspector of Ancient Monuments the local clergyman, the Rev. 
Coakley, C.C., 
has succeeded in getting the Rural District Council to appoint a caretaker to control the burials, the Board of Works supplementing his salary by an equal amount to look after the ruins. 
It has also been arranged that burials are to be confined to those in the ecclesi astical union of parishes having burial rights within the walls, and that the unauthorised burials of unknown persons" coming from a distance are to be discouraged. 
Efforts towards similar satisfactory arrangements are being made at other ruins under the Board's care. 
The repairs commenced at Mellifont Abbey during the year 1908-9 were carried on and completed, including the enclosing of the additional space vested in the Board. 
The cutstone work of the foundations of the piers and abut¬ ments of the nave and choir is of sand stone of a friable nature, and requires treatment with a baryta solution to prevent it from crumbling away. 
In the interior of the Tumulus of Dowth, County Meath, some of the support¬ ing stones showed signs of disintegration, and it became necessary to introduce reinforced concrete to maintain them in position. 
The repairs at the Franciscan Friary at Sherkin Island were completed. 
The grave spaces in the interior have been cleaned up. 
The area of the cloister garth is at present free from graves, and it is intended to preserve this portion from being used for burial purposes. 
The repairs at Franciscan Church at Buttevant, County Cork, which, with the Friary at Sherkin Island, in same County, was described and illustrated last year, have been completed. 
The walls have been preserved by concreting the top and pointing the faces where the open joints were injured by the ivy. 
Owing to the overcrowding of the interior with grave mounUs, headstones, tombs, etc., 
but little could be done to improve the neglected aspect of the interior of this ruin. 
At Iniskeen Round Tower, County Monaghan, recently vested in the Board, preliminary repairs have been carried out. 
Vegetation has been removed, and some pointing done to secure and preserve the walls. 
A wooden rail has been placed around the base of the Tower to prevent injury to the foundations by the digging of graves.. 
The ;c Yellow Steeple " at Trim, which is all that is left of the Church of St. 
Mary, is in. 
need of repair. 
As a precaution against danger from falling stones a railing has been erected around its base. 
Owing to its great height and the cost of scaffolding the tops of the walls were not secured when the initial repairs-were undertaken, but as the matter has now become urgent the work will be commenced during the coming year.