SINN Fein’s Sean Griffin has welcomed news that a proposal for Limerick City Council to take possession of neglected graves has been buried.
Costs associated with maintaining plots led to the proposal’s inclusion in draft bylaws and could have seen graves return to the ownership of City Hall after 40 years of non-use. But the proposition was omitted in the regulations adopted by councillors earlier his month.
“This decision is a painful return to reality for some of the administrators in City Hall. Their proposal to land grab the unused or unattended burial plots in Mount St Lawrence Ccemetery has been frustrated by the elected members who have rightly voted the proposal down,” said Mr Griffin, himself a former councillor.
“There have been many inquiries from people living abroad requesting information on where they stood regarding this situation. Many of these people were forced to emigrate in the 50s and 60s and some of them had made arrangements to be returned to Limerick and buried with their families. They can now rest easy as their requests can be fulfilled,” he added.
With the cost of a single grave space in County Limerick at €585 and plots at Mount St Oliver starting at €980, Mr Griffin suggested the proposal had also been motivated by the trend of city people buying less expensive graves in the county.
But a Council spokesperson rejected Mr Griffin’s assertion that the proposal had been put forward as a “nice little earner” to free up more graves for sale.
Upkeep of graves was the responsibility of their owners and not taxpayers, while health and safety had also been also a factor in the proposal, the spokesperson said.
While the Council will continue to maintain the graves, it will seek to recover these costs from the families.