The Royalist

02.28.14

Princess Diana's Irish Roots

Diana found to have Irish ancestry - so will William, Kate and baby George now visit the Emerald Isle?

County Cork is known in Ireland as the rebel county, so it is perhaps appropriate that a graveyard restoration project in Cork has uncovered the ancient burial tomb of a direct ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales.

An unmarked mausoleum in East Cork was found to contain the remains of Princess Diana’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Baron Edmond Roche.

During the restoration process, volunteers discovered plaques documenting a list of the dead contained within the mausoleum.

Previously, an old folks tale had linked the tomb to the Roche family, of nearby Trabolgan, but there was no concrete proof whom the tomb might contain.

The discovery was made by volunteers, Eddie Tucker, Jimmy O’Leary and Michael Kenefick, who found the tombstone plaques buried under the roots of a tree growing out of the mausoleum.

“The volunteers found the plaques by accident while they were cleaning around the mausoleum and the tree,” heritage worker Grace Fox told the Irish Examiner.

Lord Fermoy had married Elizabeth Caroline Boothbym and their grandson Edmund Roche, the 4th Baron Fermoy, was the maternal grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales.

“This is why it’s so important for local people to be involved in the restoration projects, because they know the local legends, they know what information to follow up,” Ms Fox said.