Straid Church and Associated Material
While the old church has very few marked graves, 'the graveyard is literally piled with heaps of the dead; it is raised many feet in height, and seems to be wholly vaulted underneath'. (Memorials to the Dead Vol. 5, 1901).
Since the Established Church had so few parishioners, these graves are mainly the graves of the Catholic community, priests and laiety, who continued to use the graveyard even after the opening of the Catholic Chapel in Clonmany. Our ancestors regarded this as hallowed ground.
Charlie McGlinchey, whose grandfather was buried here in 1840, refers to it as 'consecrated', the graveyard for the parish 'from the time of the Reformation' (Last of the Name). The use of the term of 'Old Church' suggests that unbroken identification.
"My Grandfather died in 1840 and was buried in the old graveyard in Straid. People could be buried there yet, as far as I know, for its concercrated ground. That was the graveyard for the parish from the time of the reformation, and continued to be even when the Old Church was taken over by the Protestants, up until the new graveyard was opend in 1829. I always heard there was an old graveyard at Ard na Ronan in Binnion, and another in Bocharna, and one in the Glen in Drimaneich on McDaids farm, where they say a priest is buried" (Charles McGlinchey - Last of the Name)
Thanks to Kathleen McWilliams, native of Clonmany and now living in Coleraine, Co. Derry for compiling this information. Thanks also to the McGlinchey Summer School for allowing us to reproduce this information.