Today is "Plan Your Epitaph Day"! Morbid? Yes! But the Irish have an uncanny way of bringing humor into the darkest hour as these gravestone etchings prove.
The Irish have long been known for their love of the macabre and humor, even in death. The ‘Dead Funny’ traces the funniest gravestone epitaphs in Ireland.
Here are my top ten entries. The book written by Allen Foster, a freelance writer, can be purchased at www.gillmacmillan.ie.
1. From Northern Ireland:
“Erected to the memory of JOHN PHILLIPS, accidentally shot as a mark of affection by his brother.
2. Belturbet County Cavan:
Here lies John Highey, whose mother and father were drowned in their passage from America. Had they both lived they would be buried here.”
3. Belfast City Cemetery:
DUFFY: In loving memory of beloved Gerald, husband father, Died 30th November 1989 aged 65 years: I told you’s I was sick.
4. Larne County Antrim:
At the grave of a man hanged for sheep stealing:
Here lies the body of Thomas Kemp, lived by wool died by hemp
Beneath this stone lies Katherine my wife
In death my comfort, and my plague through life
Oh liberty! but soft I must not boast
She’s haunt me else , by jingo ,with her ghost
Here lies the remains of John Hall, grocer. The world is not worth a fig. I have good raisins for saying so.
7. Youghal, County Cork:
Here lies poor but honest Cecil Pratt. He was a most expert angler until death, envious of his merit threw out his line and hooked him.
Here lies the body of Anthony Reynolds, who although a miller was an honest man.”
9. County Clare:
This stone was raised to Sarah Ford, not Sarah’s virtues to record - for they’re well known to all the town. No Lord; it was raised to keep her down.”
10. Mallow, County Cork:
Here lies the body of Edmund Spenser, great great grandson of the poet Spenser, unfortunate from his cradle to his grave.”
* Originally published in 2011.