Bishop Garvey of Dromore

Encased in the wall that abuts Chapel Street in St Mary’s Cemetery is an old tombstone that was originally the frontispiece of a crypt erected June 15th 1763 – some three years before his death and interment there – for Bishop of Dromore Anthony Garvey and members of his family. 

Remember this was in penal times when to be a Catholic Bishop was to be a hunted man with a price on one’s head.

Anthony Garvey came from a well-to-do family that owned vineyards in France – similar to the Hennessey of cognac fame. In these turbulent times Garvey found himself nominated for his high position by the son of King James II – and duly appointed by the Pope!

It is not certain that the entire Garvey lineage descends from French forebears. An interesting aside is that in the recent Millennium year a French ‘Count’ called to the Cathedral in Newry seeking to trace his ancestry, perhaps back to the said Bishop.

He was directed to Aghnagun near Mayobridge where there are at least three surviving lines. He met at least one representative.

There are more Garveys in South Armagh and Dundalk.

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