LIMERICK City Councillors have this week voted through plans to add around 800 extra graveyard spaces to the Mount St Lawrence cemetry extension.
The Mulgrave Street burial ground is close to capacity, and this has forced the local authority to acquire two extra acres from the private market.
This will see an extension of the graveyard left-wards in the direction of Bengal Terrace, and will be the first extension to the graveyard for 15 years.
It is hoped this will mean many city families can bury their loved ones within the boundaries of the city, instead of heading into the countyâ€™s area.
Due to the fact the development is taking place in poublic lands, it was up to councillors to accept or reject the planners recommendation the extension go ahead.
Despite a call from Fine Gael councillor Pat Kennedy that the matter be deferred due to the wording of the documentation handed to members, the remainder of the council voted the extension through,.
The plan will see the land beside the graveyard, which has been left as a dumping ground in recent years, in use.
It is the first time the city cemetery has been extended in over 15 years, with the council previously confirming around 800 new plots will be added.
However, a council spokesman said a derelict cottage which is situated on these extra lands cannot be removed, because the local authority has yet to take ownership of this.
As part of the extension, Limerick City Council will also seek to construct 160-metres worth of two metre-wide pathways. The plan also allows for the provision of access openings and gates from the Mount St Lawrence access roads, and the current cemetery.
â€œIt is really good news for the city. All that is left to do is get contractors to put in new gates, and footpaths. It is a great asset really, because so many people are truying to acquire grave spaces at Mount St Lawrence,â€ a council spokesman said.
Independent councillor John Gilligan - who represents the area closest to Mount St Lawrence - called for a wall of remembarance to be built to recall those cremated.
â€œI am disappointed with local undertakers who have backed off from building a crematorium. I think there is a huge gap in the market there. If there was a commemorative wall, it would not just enhance the area, it would generate revenue,â€ he said.
Cllr Diarmuid Scully added that an extension is â€œthe only thingâ€ that should be done with the neighbouring fields.