A lady approached us as we stood on a grave. She was wearing an Office of Public Works (OPW) uniform with a badge telling us her name. And she was giving us a curious look. Which was fair enough considering that my four daughters and I were standing on a grave at one of Ireland’s most visited tourist attractions, the Rock of Cashel.

“I’m just introducing my daughters to some family,” I explained to the lady. For the people buried beneath this soil, the Ryans, were relatives. Their mother was a McCarthy, the eldest sister of my grandfather.