Gravestone inscription


Sir, – Since when are we obliged to ensure our epitaphs do not confuse the passer-by? (“Church of England rules Irish inscription on gravestone must have translation”, News, June 2nd).

Stephen Eyre QC, in his role as a judge of the Church of England’s Consistory Court, ruled that “without a translation the inscription would not be understood by many visiting the churchyard”.

Clearly he seldom visits Victorian or Edwardian graveyards where Greek and Latin inscriptions abound to confuse the average wanderer.

Many passers-by are perplexed by Drumcliffe graveyard and the enigmatic epitaph “Cast a cold eye/on life, on death./Horseman, pass by!” on WB Yeats’s headstone, but God preserve us and the poet from someone demanding a “translation”. – Yours, etc,




Dublin 13.