A new gravestone as a memorial to Isola Wilde
In 2012 at the suggestion of Wildean scholar Angela Kingston a decision was made to erect a new headstone for Isola Wilde. Because the original headstone vanished at some point in the past. As a result Chairman Matt Farrell sourced stone in Cong County Mayo. Surely an appropriate choice as Sir William Wilde had built a summer home there – Moytura. Now Isola Wilde’s Memorial stands right beside the entrance of St. John’s graveyard in Edgeworthstown.
Local undertaker Patrick Gogan was tasked with shaping the stone and carving the words. At a ceremony on the 4th July 2013 – as part of the Gathering – the new memorial was blessed. Additionally Angela Kingston read Requiescat to the gathered crowd.
Afterwards McGrath’s Limestone who supplied the stone wrote a short interesting piece about this in their newsletter.
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?
Isola Wilde’s Memorial has a hidden significance
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 memorial (Oscar Wilde’s sister) in Edgeworthstown.
Isola Wilde 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. As a result, Isola was buried in the nearby cemetery; St John’s Graveyard. Oscar was profoundly affected by the loss of his sister. He wrote the now famous poem Requiescat in her memory.
What also makes this story all the more interesting and special? Oscar Wilde and 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.
If you would like to visit her grave and here more about Isola Wilde and her famous brother Oscar Wilde, join us on one of our Edgeworthstown’s Heritage & Literary Trails -a guided walking tour. Sign up to our Newsletter to stay up to date with special events and tour offers.