Graveyard capacity at ‘crisis point’

A Donegal councillor has claimed capacity in burial grounds in Donegal is very fast approaching crisis point.

The issue was raised by Letterkenny Councillor Jimmy Kavanagh at the recent meeting of Donegal County Council with many councillors also agreeing it is a major issue across the county.

Cllr Kavanagh said he acknowledged the Council has committed to the maintenance of burial grounds, however, he questioned what plans are in place for the provision of burial grounds as many are reaching full capacity.


“This is very fast reaching crisis point, both for the main churches and for the new people that we have in the county now, some of them who have to go to Dublin and to Derry to get buried.

“Some of these people have spent 30 or 40 years working in the county but yet they have to go elsewhere to get buried.

“The main churches are fast running out of space. I am wondering if there is still any active body within the council looking after this because it seems to have gone off the radar completely.

“It would be a shame if we left this until we absolutely do reach crisis point with this but it is approaching,” said Cllr Kavanagh.

Cllr Kavanagh added that this is not a new issue and the council has been aware of the worsening situation for a number of years.

“We have been well warned of this but we don’t seem to making any progress on it and I do appreciate that it is difficult to make progress as it is not everywhere we can get suitable sites.

“It is very important that we keep this at the forefront and keep searching for suitable sites as it is getting more and more critical with each year that passes,” said Cllr Kavanagh.


Meanwhile, Cllr Marie Therese Gallagher says there is also an issue with the upkeep of graveyard car-parking and the surrounding areas.

“I think we need to look at a scheme which will ensure the car parks are kept in good condition.

“We have communities all over the county who are raising funds themselves just to get potholes filled in a car park where their loved ones lie and I don’t think that is acceptable,” said Cllr Gallagher.

Mr. Michael McGarvey, Director of Water and Environment said the Council has carried out work looking at the capacity of graveyards and has gathered information on the current model and what changes are needed.

He added there have also been discussions on non-denominational graveyards and he said members will be updated in the relevant Strategic Policy Committees.

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