Tipperary storm damage keeps Chapel Lane closed to pedestrians

Most interesting recessed carving must be protected

Chapel Lane, Fethard

This is Chapel Lane on March 10 this year with the buildings on the right partly demolished. The stone plaque survives on the right hand wall.

Following the recent high winds and storm, the well-used Chapel Lane in Fethard had to be closed to pedestrians and local traffic due to structural damage caused to some of the buildings on the lane making it unsafe to use.

This came as a shock to the many people who use the old lane as a short cut to the Parish Church and others as an entrance to the rear of their premises that adjoin Chapel Lane.

During the past week Chapel Lane remained closed to the public while work commenced to remove the dangerous roof and demolish parts of the affected building.

Older readers will remember Ms Rachel Horan who lived in Chapel Lane, and died on February 12, 1969, in her seventies. This house was later used by Richie Fitzgerald who formerly worked in Scully’s Hardware on Main Street and later in Fethard Creamery shop. On the top right front of this house façade there is an unusual small stone plaque that is in danger of being lost if that section of the wall (still standing) is to be also demolished.

The recessed carving in Chapel Lane, Fethard, referred to by Archaeologist Dr Louise Nugent in 2017.

Archaeologist Dr Louise Nugent, speaking to Fethard Historical Society on a walkabout in Fethard in 2017, explored the stone-carved heritage of Fethard.

While walking through Chapel Lane she mentioned this most interesting recessed carving incorporating two different pieces, one above the other. The first is a simple name plate inscribed ‘Russel’. The second piece, dating from the 18th century depicting a bishop, possibly St. Patrick, the origins of which are still unknown.

She said it perhaps relates to a church that once stood on this site, perhaps it refers to the time the houses on Chapel lane were built, or it may have originally been erected elsewhere and subsequently moved to its present location.

It would be very unfortunate if it were removed and lost before anyone had the opportunity to discover further information about this carving.

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.