'In ár gcroíthe go deo': Gravestone with Irish inscription finally allowed in UK

Thursday, March 18

By Ciarán Mather

An Irish family who campaigned to have an inscription as Gaeilge placed on a loved one's headstone but were initially blocked from doing so have now officially succeeded.

It follows after the highest ecclesiastical UK court last month overturned an initial order preventing an Irish phrase being engraved on the headstone of the late Margaret Keane.

The initial decision came about following concerns that people who walk by the grave may believe the phrase to have political connotations.

Now, the phrase 'in ár gcroíthe go deo' - which in English translates to 'in our hearts forever', is transcribed on the headstone of the late Mrs. Keane.

The new ruling also said that parish records must record the English translation.

Yesterday, the family held a short ceremony at the graveside for St. Patrick's Day as the headstone was finally installed: nearly three years after Margaret’s death.

According to RTE News, Margaret Keane notably received a President's International Award at a ceremony in Croke Park in 2017.

She was also a local resident in the area for 50 years, where she worked as a dinner lady at the local school for 26 years.

Ms. Keane was also a stalwart of the GAA in Coventry and the county of Warwickshire.

Margaret Keane has been laid to rest at 'The Meadow', a new annex to the older churchyard of St Giles, in the village of Exhall in Coventry.

Fortunately, as the ecclesiastical court also showed in its recent ruling, there is slow but nonetheless continuous progress that the historical Anglo-Irish divide is healing.