Par­ishes can ap­ply for fund­ing to main­tain older grave­yards

Irish Examiner - County - - Front page - Sean O’Rior­dan

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.

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