Having last month handed over powers to local committees across the county in relation to the development and maintenance of graveyards, a local councillor has made a case for seeking funding from Longford County Council for the extension of a cemetery in his area.
Cllr Mick Cahill said he raised the issue at the area meeting, where he explained that the particular issue with Carrickedmond graveyard was that “45 percent of the people in (buried) that graveyard are from outside the parish and the graveyard is now full”.
He added, “We’re now looking at having to foot the bill for a new graveyard, and there’s a lot of concern about that. We’re hoping some consideration, on a once-off basis, would be given.”
Outgoing Co Mayor Cllr Paul Connell asked if it was the only graveyard in the county in that situation, and Cllr Cahill replied that it was the only one in south Longford.
However, Cllr Mark Casey said that there is a similar issue in Killashee. Other councillors said Mullinalaghta, Clondra and Drumlish graveyards were in similar positions.
Cllr Connell, speaking to Cllr Cahill, suggested that they approach the person who owns land adjoining the cemetery with a view to purchasing the property.
Cllr Mae Sexton said the issue had been decided upon at a previous meeting and queried why graveyards were being raised again.
Cllr Connell pointed out that Cllr Cahill was not at the previous meeting when the decision was made
Director of Services Ciaran Murphy clarified that the council agreed that it would not buy any new land but would, by way of a contribution, assist communities who are developing or extending graveyards.
“The reason we were getting out of this (graveyards) was because we couldn’t afford to give a contribution that would be suitable to do it so we were leaving it up to whatever committees in the county to do that,” said Cllr Sexton.
The contribution, it was explained, would be 25 percent of the development cost and that there is an annual grant in the region of €400 to €500 given to each cemetery.
“We wouldn’t be involved in the purchase of the land, but we will assist them in the capital cost of up 25 percent, subject to finance,” said Mr Murphy.
In relation to Carrickedmond graveyard, Cllr Connell explained Cllr Cahill’s position. “Other graveyards were closed to people in other areas but this graveyard was used by Longford Co Council as a burial ground for four different areas that had nothing got to do with Carrickedmond and it is on that basis he is coming back here today.”
Cllr Cahill added that there was a submission made from the parish outlining the situation. He said if the graveyard wasn’t used by other areas, there would be no problem in Carrickedmond. Cllr Connell added that it was the only submission made.
Mr Murphy suggested that it could possibly be considered in the estimates later this year.