Limerick County Council takes legal action over damage to Abbeyfeale cemetery

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

LIMERICK County Council has initiated legal action against an individual in Abbeyfeale over damage which was caused to a centuries-old Church of Ireland graveyard in the town.

LIMERICK County Council has initiated legal action against an individual in Abbeyfeale over damage which was caused to a centuries-old Church of Ireland graveyard in the town.

The local authority last week began proceedings against the individual after a boundary wall was damaged, trees uprooted and foliage cleared from the graveyard, which is located opposite the town’s garda station.

The Limerick Leader understands that the council believe that the property, which is approximately one quarter of an acre in size and has been in their ownership since the 1940s, was trespassed on in order to clear away brush and vegetation.

A spokesperson for Limerick County Council declined to comment on the matter, due to the ongoing legal action.

In an anonymous letter to this newspaper, signed by “a concerned citizen”, one Abbeyfeale resident criticised the condition of the graveyard, and called for action to be taken.

“All the trees have been cut down... now there is only two head stones standing. Before there were loads and loads of headstones.

“It is a total disgrace that someone can do this to our local heritage in Abbeyfeale town”.

The small cemetery, which is situated amidst large trees and hedgerow, was largely overgrown with vegetation prior to the clearing works.

The Limerick Leader visited the site this week, and found that a section of the site had been cleared and foliage removed.

The cemetery has been dormant for a number of decades, and no remains have been interred there for a considerable amount of time.

It is understood that the county council will enter into discussions with the third party who is subject to their legal action in a bid to reach a solution to the issue as soon as possible.

Since 1904, the main Catholic cemetery in Abbeyfeale has been located near the old St Mary’s Abbey, which is now the site of St Mary’s Boys national school.