Irish Grave Slab with Relief of Hurley, Sliotar, and Sword
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: Andreas F. Borchert
A dark grave slab is ornamented with reliefs of text, objects, and patterns. A relief of a cross is positioned in the middle of the slab, dividing it into segments. The bottom right segment has reliefs depicting a hurley stick, sliotar (Irish hurling ball), and sword. The bottom left segment is decorated with leafy patterns. The top two segments have lines of text reveal the stone’s maker and grave’s inhabitant. The text and its translation here are as follows:
MAGNUS MEC ORRISTIN IA FO TRL SEO | FERGUS MAK ALLAN DO RINI IN CLACH SA
Magnus MacOrristin under this | Fergus MacAllan made this stone
Artifact: 16th century AD
Photo: September 2014
This grave slab provides a medieval snapshot of the Irish hurling hurley stick and sliotar (ball). Note that the lines of inscription do not read strictly from left to right. Rather, they read from the top of the cross to the left, then from the top of the cross to the right, followed by an upside-down line on the right branch of the cross. (The characters of each line are still read from left to right when oriented correctly.)
The gravestone has not been relocated from its original position, and currently resides at the Clonca Church in Inishowen, Ireland.
Day, C., & O’Neill, M. (2006). Ireland. London: Cadogan Guides.