In 2012 at the suggestion of Wildean scholar Angela Kingston a decision was made to erect a new headstone for Isola Wilde – the original having vanished at some point in the past. Chairman Matt Farrell sourced stone in Cong County Mayo – an appropriate choice as Sir William Wilde had built a summer home there – Moytura. Local undertaker Patrick Gogan was taked with shaping the stone and carving the words and at a ceremony on the 4th July 2013 – as part of the Gathering – the new memorial was blessed and Angela Kingston read Requiescat to the gathered crowd.
McGrath’s Limestone who supplied the stone wrote a short piece about this in their newsletter and it is reproduced here.
MCGRATH’S LIMESTONE HAS A “WILDE” CULTURAL CONNECTION
A little known fact and interesting story about our limestone and its cultural connection with Oscar Wilde, Is this a twist of fate or just a coincidence, you decide?
We donated some limestone to a valued customer, Matt Farrell working on behalf of his local community group The Edgeworth Heritage & Literary Society in Co Longford. The limestone was for a new gravestone for Isola Wilde’s grave (Oscar Wilde’s sister) in Edgeworthstown.
Isola was Oscar’s youngest sister and only 9 years old when tragedy struck. She was visiting relatives in Edgeworthstown in Co Longford & became ill and died in 1867. She was buried in the nearby cemetery; St John’s Graveyard. Oscar was profoundly affected by the loss of his sister and wrote the now famous poem Requiesvat in her memory.
What makes this story all the more interesting and special is Oscar Wilde & his family spent most of his early childhood in the Cong area at their country house. Sir William Wilde, Oscar’s father built and owned Moytura House on the shores of Lough Corrib outside Cong in Co Mayo. Was this a remarkable coincidence that stone from Cong in Co Mayo ended up marking the final resting place of Oscar’s beloved sister? Or was it the universe working in mysterious ways? I suppose that is a question we will never know, but you would like to think fate had some part to play.