Constituent policy

Councilors are disgusted by the ‘cremated remains only’ policy at Limerick Cemetery

COUNCILORS called a response from council regarding a graveyard ‘pathetic’, ‘shameful’ and ‘very disrespectful’.

At a Cappamore-Kilmallock Municipal District meeting, Cllr PJ Carey tabled a motion asking the City and Limerick County Council to respond to a request from residents to allow the purchase of burial grounds at the cemetery in Tankardstown, Kilmallock.

Cllr Carey said 30 years ago it was a desert – overgrown and run down.

“The local people came together and straightened the headstones, erected pillars, made it accessible and bought an order for the cemetery. Everything was out of their own pocket without the help of the council.

“That these same people are now being told that they cannot bury their loved ones in Tankardstown Cemetery because of a monument is nothing short of a disgrace. If the monuments were so precious, why were they left to fall into ruin? The monument is a wall with a tree growing in the middle,” he said.

The councillor, who recently announced he had joined Sinn Fein, said there was plenty of space between the current graves for burial grounds which would be “100 yards” from the so-called monument.

“There would be no interference,” said Cllr Carey, who added that “the past shouldn’t shackle us every time.”

The local authority’s response said it was their policy ‘not to allow the sale of new burial grounds in old cemeteries which are on the Monuments Register’.

The council said families with existing burial plots at Tankardstown Cemetery can continue to use them provided the plot is not at capacity.

“The City of Limerick and County Council would be prepared to develop a section of the cemetery subject to National Monuments Service approval for cremated remains only, the sale of which would be a maximum of two plots per family and in only when necessary,” it read. the answer.

He concludes by saying that there is “sufficient capacity to meet the needs of the community at Ballingaddy and Bruree cemeteries”.

Cllr Carey said he would be “ashamed” to go back to the people of Tankardstown and show them this answer.

“It’s absolutely pathetic. I’m really disgusted by ‘cremated remains only’. Some people don’t want to be cremated. It’s just not good enough. I don’t accept that answer,” he said. he adds.

Cllr Mike Donegan agreed it was a “very disappointing response”.

“My own grandparents are buried there on my mother’s side and my aunt is buried there. It’s very disrespectful to people who have family buried there,” said Cllr Donegan, who requested an amendment to Cllr Carey’s motion for the council to seek an extension.

“There is room on both sides. This is a well maintained cemetery – fair play to the cemetery association and Kilmallock Tourism and Development for its upkeep. I understand the historical side of it, but it’s very disappointing to read this – I don’t accept it,” said Cllr Donegan, who was supported by Cllr Carey.

Cllr Martin Ryan said the policy of not allowing the sale of new burial plots in old cemeteries should be reconsidered “given there is so much pressure on the burial grounds”. Cllr John Egan agreed, saying they had ‘fierce problems’ with cemeteries in Abington, Ballinure and Towerhill in east Limerick.

“There is land available for extensions but they cannot be developed as they are located close to protected structures. I think it’s codology,” Cllr Egan said.

Cllr Ger Mitchell said he was very disappointed when he was refused a gravestone application in Tankardstown on behalf of a constituent.

Cllr Brigid Teefy said the graves are a ‘very emotional subject’ for families.

“There is a motion coming up at the next council meeting that where there is enough space people can buy graves in advance and not on request. People like to have their business sorted,” Cllr Teefy said.

Brian Kennedy, who is responsible for the municipal district, said he would ask the person responsible for this area to attend the next meeting.

“There are a number of questions that I don’t have answers to,” Kennedy said.