These hilarious gravestone epitaphs prove that the Irish have an uncanny way of bringing humor into the darkest hour.

The Irish have long been known for their love of the macabre and humor, even in death. The book ‘Dead Funny’ by Allen Foster traces the funniest gravestone epitaphs in Ireland.

Below are some of our favorite Irish epitaphs:

From Northern Ireland:

“Erected to the memory of JOHN PHILLIPS, accidentally shot as a mark of affection by his brother."

From Belturbet, Co 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.”

From 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."

From Larne, Co Antrim:

"At the grave of a man hanged for sheep stealing:
Here lies the body of Thomas Kemp, lived by wool died by hemp"

From Belfast:

"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"

From Dublin:

"Here lies the remains of John Hall, grocer. The world is not worth a fig. I have good raisins for saying so."

From Youghal, Co 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."

IrishCentral History

Love Irish history? Share your favorite stories with other history buffs in the IrishCentral History Facebook group.

From Waterford:

"Here lies the body of Anthony Reynolds, who although a miller was an honest man.”

From Co 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.”

From Mallow, Co Cork:

"Here lies the body of Edmund Spenser, great-great-grandson of the poet Spenser, unfortunate from his cradle to his grave.”

Have you ever encountered a funny Irish epitaph? Share in the comments!

* Originally published in 2011. Updated in Jan 2024.