An autumn sun shone brightly on the afternoon of Saturday 12th October as the Bishop presided over the rededication of the grave of the Revd Thomas Hand and his wife Mrs Cassandra Hand at the Holy Trinity Church, Clogh. The church service was led by the Rural Dean of Clones, the Revd Canon Helene Steed, assisted by Capt. David Hamilton. Mr Walter Pringle laid a beautiful wreath of Victorian flowers on the grave. Local residents, community representatives and dignitaries came together to celebrate the life and work of Cassandra Hand (1809-1868) and her contribution to the famine relief in Clones and the surrounding area. Cassandra’s legacy lives on today with many women carrying on the lace making craft handed down through generations.
Following the blessing, people returned to Clogh War Memorial Hall where the ladies of Clogh parish provided a sumptuous cream tea, enjoyed by all present. There was a great atmosphere of friendship as women from Derrylin, Lisnaskea, Newtownbutler, Roslea, Killeevan and Clones met to view their creative display of ‘Peace Prayer Flags’ in the hall. The programme included two wonderful poems penned by Mary Tierney and Florence Creighton, followed by Carol Summerville singing, and the recitation of a piece on Cassandra Hand carried out by Maeve Vance representing Clones ICA. Gwen Lanigan representing the International Fund for Ireland expressed collective thanks to the international donors who have supported the work of the International Fund for Ireland for more than twenty five years. Deirdre Kelly, chairperson of Clones Community Forum thanked the IFI for making the restoration of the grave a possibility and thanked Clogh Select Vestry for their support and in particular Gordon McCoy for overseeing the restoration. She concluded by thanking the Bishop of Clogher for personally attending this special tribute to Cassandra Hand.
Rt Revd John McDowell Bishop of Clogher
Canon Helene T-Steed Clones Rural Dean
Photographs taken by Eugene T Hamill, Clones.
Ms Deirdre Kelly Chair of Clones Community Forum presenting a gift of Clones lace to Bishop
Peace Prayer Flags