College Cemetery

A Place of Rest in Maynooth

college-cemetery1Beyond an elegant glade of Yew Trees in the park, lies the College Cemetery, first opened in 1817, with the entrance designed by William Haughton Beardwood.


The Yew is the ancient symbol of eternal life, so yew trees appropriately adorn the entrance to the cemetery. Some of those buried under magnificent Celtic Crosses made lasting contributions in Ireland and internationally.


Dr Nicholas Callan from County Louth, (1799 – 1864), invented the Induction Coil. The coil is still used in our cars, and enables a 12 volt battery to give us the large voltage required for the spark plugs each time we start.

Professors François Anglade (1758 – 1834) and Louis Delahogue (1739 – 1827) taught in the Sorbonne before the French Revolution, but refused ‘The Oath’ and had to leave France.

Dr Charles Russell from County Down (1812 – 1880) is very topical now following the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, who wrote in his Apologia pro Vita Sua in 1864, that Dr Russell ‘had, perhaps, more to do with my conversion than anyone else’.

The youthful remains of Eoghan O’Growney from County Meath (1863 – 1899) are housed in the mausoleum designed by W A Scott in the style of the small chapel in Glendalough. O’Growney was professor of Irish, and was to found the Gaelic League with Douglas Hyde and Eoin MacNeill before he died of TB at the age of 36.


college-cemetery-2There are a number of students, Sisters and staff resting there too. Many of the students died of consumption, as tuberculosis was called at the time, and are remembered in the Classpieces of the time. The Sisters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul provided the healthcare for students and staff. The most recent burial was that of Maurice Dunne from Tralee (1939 – 2009). He had worked in the College since 1961 and died on his 70th birthday.


While the College was founded in 1795, the first to be buried in the new College Cemetery was Rev Francis Power from Cork (1737 – 1817), who was the first Bursar and Vice President, was appointed Professor of French in 1802, and died in 1817. Four members of the College staff, who died before 1817, were buried in Laraghbryan Cemetery on the Kilcock Road, west of the Campus.

  • Rev Maurice Ahern from Kerry, (1735 – 1801), Professor of Dogmatic Theology
  • Rev Clotworthy McCormick from Antrim, (d.1807), first Sacristan, who before coming to Maynooth was the last Abbot of Bangor Abbey, associated with St Comgall and St Malachy
  • Rev Edwards Ferris from Kerry, (1738 – 1809), Dean & Professor of Moral Theology
  • Rev Charles Lovelock from Galway (d.1814), Professor of Greek & Latin, Humanity & Rhetoric.