Parishes can apply for funding to maintain older graveyards
Parish and community groups can apply for funding to maintain older graveyards in County Cork.
The southern division of the county council maintains 101 graveyards, but cannot maintain others, as it does not have the staff.
The division covers an area encompassing Macroom, Bandon, Kinsale, Carrigaline, Ballincollig, Blarney, Cobh, Glanmire, Carrigtwohill, Midleton, and Youghal.
Cllr Noel Collins sought a report on how grave yards were being maintained, saying he was concerned that many of the county’s old cemeteries were fast- becoming derelict sites. He sought to have them restored, as a matter of “respect for our dead relatives and friends”.
Cllr Collins requested a report from the council’s architect’s department, which is responsible for some aspects of graveyard maintenance, including a detailed plan on how best to negotiate repairs to head stones and boundary walls.
At a meeting in County Hall, senior executive officer, Jim Molloy, said in the case of many of the older or closed, non-council cemeteries, there was no maintenance regime. He said the council prioritises the maintenance of councilowned cemeteries.
Mr Molloy said the introduction of ‘ lawn’ cemeteries had greatly assisted the council with its maintenance programme.
But he said that where local parish or community groups undertake, or wish to undertake, the maintenance of a cemetery, they may apply for funding from their local municipal district council.
In the case of ancient graveyards, maintenance was complicated by the fact that they are recorded monuments and subject to statutory protection.
In such cases, any works must be agreed by the National Monuments Service in advance and require supervision by an archaeologist.