Old bye-laws to apply to new burial ground

A multi-faith ceremony was held to mark the opening of the new graveyard in Killarney on Wednesday.
Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

RULES governing the new public burial ground in Killarney will be covered by the existing Kerry County Council bye laws which restrict the height of monuments allowed in a lawn cemetery to a maximum of 1.2m which is just under four foot.

While headstones will be permitted, no monumental works will be allowed around the perimeter of graves to facilitate a continuous lawn area.

New draft bye laws for all burial grounds are currently subject to public consultation and they include a more stringent approval process for the construction of monuments. A register of pre-approved monument sculptors is expected to be established in the county.

Last December senior Kerry County Council officials pledged to investigate breaches of the laws governing memorial headstones in Aghadoe Graveyard and other public ceremonies with officials stressing that they had the power to order the removal of any structure if there had been a failure to comply with rules and regulations.

Cllr Brendan Cronin: concerns over the size of headstones

The matter had been raised by Cllr Brendan Cronin who said there was a particular problem in Aghadoe where illegally sized headstones were disrespectful and completely overshadowing adjoining graves.

“It has now gone to the stage where it’s obscene. The people responsible are lacking all respect,” said Cllr Cronin.

“Who or where are the people in Kerry County Council that are allowing this to continue? Is anyone willing to stand up and be counted?” he asked.

He was told that the council has the right to have a graveyard monument removed if its general appearance is offensive or contradictory to good practice principles or if it fails to comply with the certification of permission process. Seven months after the investigation was pledged, it is understood that nobody has been asked to remove, reduce or adjust a monument.

Meanwhile, the cost of a single burial plot in the new Killarney burial ground is €450 and burials are now being accepted.

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