Irish Priests MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Father Ted Doncaster

The cross erected at the gravesite, commemorates seven Irish priests who travelled to Perth from Ireland. The seven priests who died suddenly at a young age lay in an unmarked grave for more than 100 years. The dead priests were John Coyle, Thomas O'Neil, Michael Kirwan, John Quinn, Dennis Long, William Prendergast and Michael O'Shea.

The cross was relocated from Karrakatta Cemetery and rededicated in 2000. 

For more than 100 years, seven Catholic priests have lain in an unmarked grave. They travelled to Perth from Ireland but died young and suddenly. The first suggestion that their grave needed to be marked was made in the Catholic Record newspaper in 1880. However, it was not until a year ago - when Graeme Gerrans, an East Perth Cemetery guide, made inquiries about the plot - that the process began.

Mr Gerrans asked Catholic archivist Sister Frances Stibi to check some of his historical information. She confirmed that the priests were buried in the small clergy plot near Wittenoom Street in the East Perth Cemetery. Mr Gerrans wrote to Archbishop Barry Hickey and suggested a memorial be erected. Yesterday, the priests finally had a memorial cross and plaque dedicated to them. The dead priests were John Coyle, Thomas O'Neil, Michael Kirwan, John Quinn, Denis Long, William Prendergast and Michael O'Shea. Sister Frances said relatives got very upset when they were not able to find a grave of a forebear. "Now people who pass in the cemetery might stop and say a prayer for them," she said. Denis Glennon led the service and Auxilliary Bishop Robert Healy made the dedication.
The West Australian , 8th May, 2000.


Address:Bronte Street, East Perth Cemetery, East Perth, 6004
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -31.955833
Long: 115.878611
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Cross
Monument Theme:Culture


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 7th May, 2000
Front Inscription

Plaque :

This plaque commemorates the pioneer Catholic Clergy buried in this Cemetery

[ Names ]

Fr Michael O`Shea  d 14.12.1898 was originally buried here.  
He was exhumed to Karrakatta 30. 5. 1959

This Celtic cross was relocated from Karrakatta Cemetery and dedicated on 7. 5. 2000 by the Most Reverend Robert Healy Titular Bishop of Mayo   Auxiliary Bishop of Perth

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au