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05-12-2018, 22:12   #61
Wildly Boaring
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I always laugh where you see them breaking out the shovels and the ground is pure sand. You wouldn't go far digging a grave in Ireland without a pickaxe and a crowbar. A shovel on its own would be pointless.
One grave down near Slane we had to get a consaw out down the bottom and cut a substantial rock we ran into. Hardest grave I've dug. Real tight ground with cobbles all way down.


There are lots of places still hand digging graves. But anyone seen a place with a crypt??

My great uncle went into a crypt in west Kerry about 7 or 8 years ago. Two second cousins of mine went in before and had to move bones out of way to get the coffin in. Doorway then closed up. He'll be last into it apparently. Last of that generation.
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05-12-2018, 22:29   #62
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Some years ago I Was at the digging of a grave for a woman whose Husband had died 25 years earlier and their son 15 years later so she was going down on the husbands side. This particular graveyard is extremely wet. When we hit the remains of her husband, he was almost as good as the day he went down. What was left of the coffin and his corpse was taken up and zipped up in a body bag which was then reburied on top of his wifes coffin when the bereaved family had left the graveyard. Somethings are best unknown when it comes to grave digging.
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05-12-2018, 23:01   #63
Obvious Desperate Breakfasts
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My childhood parish, which was very rural, had a few gravediggers by profession. I can’t say for sure that they dug ALL the graves. Maybe the friends and family of some deceased dug the graves in some cases. But any of funeral I attended there, the professional gravediggers had dug the grave. (You’d see them standing by with their shovels) That some graves were and are dug by family, friends and neighbours is totally new information to me. And it’s not like old traditions have completely gone. Wakes are still quite common but I’ve never heard of any other than gravediggers doing the job.

For such a small country, Ireland is so diverse in its traditions!
Just asked my father. He said he helped dig graves in his youth and that the practice died out in our corner of rural west of Ireland in the late ‘70s.
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05-12-2018, 23:14   #64
Gravelly
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Originally Posted by foxy farmer View Post
I always laugh where you see them breaking out the shovels and the ground is pure sand. You wouldn't go far digging a grave in Ireland without a pickaxe and a crowbar. A shovel on its own would be pointless.
I was told a story by a neighbour about a lad that was involved in the drug trade hereabouts a few years ago, and got picked up in a transit van by a gang of local vigilantes, one of whom was this neighbour. Yer man was brought to a field and handed a shovel and told when he finished digging he was getting a bullet in the head. Apparently he made a fantastic job of digging the grave - neighbour reckoned he couldn’t have done better with a track machine. Said it was nearly a waste not to put him in it in the end.
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06-12-2018, 07:27   #65
judeboy101
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Dug a grave in mohill way back. 2 already buried so this was dug down to older coffin. Built up sides to make it look 6ft ish. Came back nxt morn, grave flooded despite cover on. The boss told me to get crowbar and punch holes in older coffin , to make the water fill the coffin. He said it's called "drowning the corpse". It worked and saved me a morning bailing water and embalming fluid out of a hole.
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06-12-2018, 09:40   #66
Hurrache
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Easy pick out the soft city office boys who struggle to dig a hole to bury a dog.
I'll have you know I worked in the bog footing turf once, my body didn't forgive me the next day. Problem with digging deep holes outside of fields, e.g. a back garden, is that you'll quickly get past the topsoil layer into what's basically builders rubble and there's where the problems begin. I was motoring until I hit that ****e.
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06-12-2018, 10:30   #67
Borderfox
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Feed em to the pigs?
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06-12-2018, 11:21   #68
Ragnar Lothbrok
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I've buried cats, hamsters and guinea pigs in the past. Never went anything like four feet down. Is four feet an actual law or is it only for bigger animals?

Also, is it legal to bury pets in the back garden now? I know my sister in England had to take her dog to the vets for disposal a couple of years back as it's illegal to DIY bury dogs there, apparently.
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06-12-2018, 12:35   #69
Stovepipe
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The use of crypts is still there; a friend of mine, his family have one and they all expect to go in there in time. Even if they get cremated, the urn will go in there. My mam's people are from West Clare and a lot of the graves in the local cemetery are above ground tombs
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06-12-2018, 12:40   #70
DellyBelly
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Dug a grave for a dog and accidentally killed two fish while doing it. That was not a nice morning.
Actually you reminded me of a funeral I attended and they killed a budgie while digging the grave...bizzare.
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06-12-2018, 14:14   #71
foxy farmer
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Slightly off topic but 3 of my uncles hand dug a well back in the late 50s or early 60s. The farm is over very gravelly ground. They went down about 54ft till they found water. All the material that came out was screened and washed and used to make concrete blocks. These were then used to line the well all the way back to the top. My cousin had to pull up the pump this week and the 2 of us were discussing what a feat it was. The well is about 21/2ft by 4 internally and as straight as a die.
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06-12-2018, 14:17   #72
Vita nova
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Dug a soak-away by hand in a front garden once. It had the appearance of a grave, about 1.5m deep, 2m long and 1m wide. Every neighbour that passed while I was digging made some joke about a grave or burying someone.
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06-12-2018, 14:19   #73
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Round my area it's all the locals that still dig it, I've been involved in about 20 digs myself. My older brother tells a story of the first grave he was involved in. The older boys came across the previous coffin and it was in fairly bad shape. So they sprinkled a loose layer of soil over it to cover it up and started shouting at the brother to "come on young fella and prove yourself". Him, as green as grass and wanting to prove his worth to the older fellas lept down into the grave and put the two feet straight through the coffin! He said he jumped straight out of the grave without touching the sides with every other man in the graveyard in the fits laughing at him!!! It took him the week to get right after it but it is still a great story to hear once and a while.

It's a lovely tradition I believe. The family of the deceased usually arrive at the grave while the digging is in progress with a few beers and chat and tell stories about the deceased with all of the diggers (which are all usually friends).

We don't do much right in this country, but I think we handle death well.
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06-12-2018, 15:44   #74
Melodeon
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Originally Posted by Vita nova View Post
Dug a soak-away by hand in a front garden once. It had the appearance of a grave, about 1.5m deep, 2m long and 1m wide. Every neighbour that passed while I was digging made some joke about a grave or burying someone.
You should've told them that you'd finally had enough of the wife nagging you to dig the garden...

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06-12-2018, 17:29   #75
Schwiiing
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Originally Posted by Hurrache View Post
I'll have you know I worked in the bog footing turf once, my body didn't forgive me the next day. Problem with digging deep holes outside of fields, e.g. a back garden, is that you'll quickly get past the topsoil layer into what's basically builders rubble and there's where the problems begin. I was motoring until I hit that ****e.

Once?


https://imgur.com/gallery/k8ZAt1c

Last edited by Schwiiing; 06-12-2018 at 17:36.
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