Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Clearys in:
 • Drangan and Cloneen Parish Church
 • Clonmel
 • County Tipperary
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In

Changes are coming to Find A Grave. See a preview now.

Bridget Boland Cleary
Birth: 1867
Death: Mar. 16, 1895

Folk Figure. Born the youngest child and only daughter of Patrick and Bridget Boland in County Tipperary, Ireland. She attended Convent School in Drangan before being apprenticed to a dressmaker. In August 1887, she married a cooper, Michael Cleary, after which she worked successfully as a dressmaker and egg seller. The couple remained childless and she was known as an unusually independent woman. After her mother died in 1894, Bridget developed a habit of visiting the so-called fairy forts in the district. Local superstition named such places as haunts of the fey folk. Bridget fell ill on March 6, 1895. Her headache, fever, and congestion were named as bronchitis by a local doctor, but family memebers thought that her lasstitude indicated a case of fairy stroke - in other words, her husband became convinced her spirit had been stolen by the fairies. For nine days, Bridget was on fairy trial, family and neighbors confined her to her house, doused her with urine and hen's dung, forced fed her herbs and potions, and threatened her with fire brands in an effort to force the presumed fairy to release the real Bridget. In the predawn hours of March 16, Bridget was dressed in her best clothes and taken before the hearth where her husband doused her with lamp oil and burned her to death. Bridget's body was then wrapped in a sheet and buried it in a shallow grave in a bog dike little more than 1000 yeards from their cottage. The body was discovered five days later and a coroner's inquest was held. Nine of Bridget's family members were arrested on charged of murder. The trial became a political bludgeon with which different parties attempted to kill Home Rule for Ireland, embarass prominent churchmen, or denigrate a whole population as superstitious primitives. In the end, Michael Cleary was convicted of manslaughter and served fifteen years of his twenty year sentence at hard labor. Patrick Boland served six months hard labor, her cousins and uncle also served sentences between three to five years. Bridget's body, unclaimed by her incarcerated kin, and untouched by the church, apparently unwilling to associate themselves with a scandal so steeped in superstition, was quietly buried one evening by two constables just outside the churchyard wall at the Drangan and Cloneen Parish Church, in an unmarked grave beside her mother's. (bio by: Iola) 
Drangan and Cloneen Parish Church
County Tipperary, Ireland
Plot: outside the wall
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Iola
Record added: Aug 20, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21034944
Bridget <i>Boland</i> Cleary
Added by: God Bless & R.I.P. ~ Daughter Of An Angel ~
Bridget <i>Boland</i> Cleary
Added by: Bill McKern
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Donald Claeys
 Added: Sep. 16, 2017

- seejanerun
 Added: Jun. 21, 2017

- Marty Stewart
 Added: Mar. 16, 2017
There are 91 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.0 after 25 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service