‘Columbarium’ to be developed at Ards

Cremated remains are to have a permanent place of rest at Ards Friary.

Donegal County Council has granted planning permission for a columbarium following an application by the Capuchin Friars.

A survey by planners found that it will pose no threat to the local landscape.


A columbarium is a collection of niches designed to house a receptacle containing the cremated ashes of people, each with an individual front section incorporating a memorial plaque. The memorial plaque is engraved with an inscription and each niche can typically accommodate two cremated remains.

The planning application was lodged by Brother Philip Baxter of the Capuchin Friary at Ard Mhuire.

Brother Baxter said the demand for such a facility has been growing in recent years.

“The importance lies in the fact that there are quite a number of people asking for such a facility for the last number of years.

“It is happening elsewhere so there is pressure on for it to happen in this part of the country as well.

“There really is a demand for it.”

Brother Baxter said that Ards Friary has a particular importance in people’s minds given its proximity to both woodland and the sea.


“On a daily basis there is a large number of people coming here and very often there journey is concerned with finding peace. It is a constant refrain from people that this is such a peaceful place.

“The other thing is that people have been bringing ashes here for years and, legally or illegally, scattering them around the land or on the ocean.

“The columbarium will give people the opportunity, if they like, to have the ashes of a loved one here. It is a place they can come to on a continuous basis.”

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