Graveyards are running out of space
Bennettsbridge parish graveyard is close to capacity and may run out of grave space in the next year.
“There is concern in the community, in families, where they are going to go when they pass away,” said Cllr Patrick O’Neill raising the issue at the recent meeting of Callan Thomastown Municipal District councillors.
Cllr O’Neill said the matter had been raised in the past. “We tried over the years but the parish didn’t want to push it, we presented options but they didn’t want to do it,” he said, adding that this is a big concern for people in the area.
“What is going to happen when it is literally full?” Cllr O’Neill asked. “That’s not too far away, it could be next year.”
Director of Services Mary Mulholland said she was aware of the issue. This is the parish graveyard, she explained, and as the local authority has another graveyard in the area it will not be providing another, third, graveyard in the parish.
Ms Mulholland said that in the past support had been offered to the parish to plan and design an extension to its graveyard.
The local authority is obliged to provide burial grounds and in the county Kilkenny County Council has graveyards in almost every parish. Having multiple graveyards in each parish is not going to happen, she said.
Cllr Deirdre Cullen said the current parish priest is concerned that the graveyard is nearly at full capacity and is ‘very active’ at the moment. He didn’t have an input in the past. She said a submission has been made in the context of the draft area development plan.
Cllr O’Neill said he had spoken to both priests in the parish over the years.
Kilbride Cemetery - Extension needed
Bennettsbridge is not the only community in need of a burial ground extension.
Cllr Joe Lyons highlighted the lack of space at Kilbride Cemetery, asking if there were any plans to extend a cemetery which, he said, is now filling up.
“Is there anything coming down the track in preparation for the future?” he asked the meeting.
Director of Services Mary Mulholland said there has been no budget provision made for the extension of graveyards.
If there is a need for extra capacity, Ms Mulholland said, it will have to be raised with the County Council’s Environment section. Firstly they need to establish what the need is and then how it will be funded.
Ms Mulholland said she will bring the request to the Environment section to start that process.