Community provides their own cemetery: A new community cemetery has been blessed and opened as a testimony to the spirit of the community in the smallest parish in the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly.
The new cemetery at Ballinahinch, which provides almost 200 graves, has been organised by the community, with funding to day towards the considerable cost involved, raised by the purchase of graves and fundraising organised by the special graveyard development committee.
Grant assistance from North Tipperary County Council towards the project was approved last week and has been welcomed by the committee towards meeting the outstanding liability arising from the project.
It is one of the first cemeteries in the region to be community based to respond to the needs of their local community. The provision of burial grounds is usually the responsibility of the local authority.
The spirit of the community was commended when the cemetery was blessed and formally opened on Sunday last, following a special afternoon Mass celebrated at St Josephâ€™s Church, Ballinahinch by Rev Fr Bobby Fletcher, P.P. at which there was a very large attendance.
The readers at the Mass were Mary Moran and Mary Finn, whose parents, Pakie Oâ€™Sullivan (Ballinahinch) and Anne Grace, (Killoscully) have been the first burials.
Rev Fr Bobby Fletcher commended the spirit in the parish to provide the facility for local families to acquire burial space within their own community and in particular thanked the Graveyard Committee who had brought the project to completion.
He said that the man behind the whole project and responsible for bringing everything together â€œand invested a lot of time and energy to get it to where it is to-dayâ€ was Seamus Younge.
The members of the committee were Seamus Younge (Chairman), Rev Fr Bobby Fletcher, P.P, Dermot Bourke, John Ryan, Dick Coughlan, Mary Daly, Philip Kelly, Dermot Healy, T J McLoughlin, Martin Ryan, and John Foley.
Following the Mass, the cutting of the tape for the formal opening of the cemetery was performed by Seamus Younge, Chairman and the cemetery was blessed by Rev Fr Bobby Fletcher, P.P.
Seamus Younge, Chairman, described it as a momentums day for the community and the parish with the provision of a new burial grounds.
â€œIn March 2008 a group of local people, led by the late Tadgh Foley, saw a need for extra burial places and sowed the seeds for what we have to-dayâ€, he said.
He thanked the Ryan Family for making the site available and all those who had been involved in the planning of the cemetery, and the work involved in bringing the project to fruition for the benefit of the parish.
Special thanks to local Councillor, John Rocky McGrath for his work to assist the committee, Ballinahinch Hall Committee, and Ballinahinch GAA Club for their help and co-operation, local tradesmen who all contributed their skills with the work free of charge.
â€œAs you know there is a great community spirit in the parish and I want to thank all who helped in any way with the work, and in particular to the terrific graveyard committee who worked tirelessly to get this project to where it is to-day. Their work, both physically and financially has been immense and I thank them for that.
â€œI would like to thank on behalf of the parish, Rev Fr Bobby Fletcher, P.P., for all the hard work and encouragement to bring the project to where it is to dayâ€, he added.