THE DEATH COACH CAME FOR SIR BURTON MACNAMARA [BUT HE WAS NOT AT HOME]
I never noticed this grave monument before as it is not really visible from the main pathway.
From what I can tell the grave memorial takes the form of a bollard [mooring post] together with a rope and anchor partly covered by a shroud or cloak.
The death coach is part of the folklore of north western Europe. It is particularly strong in Ireland but is also found in British and American culture. In Irish folklore, it is known as the Cóiste Bodhar, meaning deaf or silent coach, and it is said that the sight or sound of the coach is the harbinger of death. It warns of imminent death to either oneself or to a close relative. In Ireland in particular the Death Coach is seen as a signifier of the inevitability of death, as the belief goes once it has come to Earth it can never return empty. Thus, once the death of an individual has been decided by a greater power, mortals may do nothing to prevent it.
The driver of the Cóiste Bodhar is said to be a headless horseman, called the Dullahan.
In December 1876 a servant for the MacNamara family of Ennistymon House in county Clare heard the rumbling of wheels late at night and decided to investigate why any vehicle would be out at such a late hour but he soon realised it was the Death Coach and he threw himself face down on the ground in fear. However death coach ignored him and didn’t stop at Ennistymon House but drove into the distance towards England until it was out of sight and the next day Sir Burton MacNamara died in London.
Sir Burton Macnamara, born in 1794, was the sixth son of Fras. Macnamara of Doolen in County Clare. His mother was Jane the daughter of George Stamer of Camelly in the same county. He was a descendant of the ancient Admirals of Munster, whose office is said to have originated the name “Mac-na-mara,” or “Son of the Sea.”
Sir Burton Macnamara (who was knighted in 1839) was, after his career in the British Navy, a Magistrate for Clare, and in 1841 was a candidate for the representation of the borough of Ennis in Parliament.
He married, 1 March, 1832, Jane, daughter of Daniel Gabbett.