Saturday, 29 December 2018
It was very late in the year that a parishioner (the writer, Donal McMahon) came across the copy he had made in 2012 of the inscription on the gravestone of Fr Simon Barlow, buried in Saggart cemetery (photo above). Part of it read: "departed this life on the 25th September 1794, aged 76 years." So when was he born, he idly wondered, subtracting his age from the year of his death -- which gave the year 1718, three hundred years ago this year. We marked the bicentenary in 2013 of the building of St Finian's and, two years later, the bicentenary of the death of Fr Andrew Hart (buried in St Mary's). Now, even though it be at the very end of the year, let us mark the tercentenary of the birth of Fr Simon Barlow.
Fr Anthony Gaughan's volume on the clergy of Dublin for the 18th century (published in 2013) gives the following information on Fr Barlow: "PP Saggart 1777-1794. D. 25 Sept. 1794." That's all we have. Maybe some diligent researcher from the "United Parishes of Saggart, Rathcoole and Newcastle" (a phrase used on the gravestone) can add to these bare facts.
As can be seen from the photo, the gravestone is split across the middle and badly needs repair. The grave can be viewed more closely in this Slide Show, while the Gravestone Inscription testifies to the great work he did for his parishioners -- and our predecessors.