FINE Gael’s Cllr Maria Byrne has said the increasing numbers travelling to Dublin and Cork to have departed loved ones cremated demonstrates the need for such a facility in the Limerick region.
A proposal to build a crematorium in Shannon – which was supported by the local parish priest and approved by An Bord Pleanala – suffered a setback earlier this year after members of Clare County Council rejected a proposal to transfer council-owned land to the project’s new backers.
A feasibility study into a crematorium at Mount St Laurence cemetery was carried out a decade ago but found there was insufficient demand in Limerick. But Cllr Byrne has now resurrected the proposal at this month’s meeting of the Limerick Metropolitan District.
“There was a report before that, when it was looked into it, found there was no demand. But I am just very conscious now that more and more people are using that facility and have to travel to Cork or Dublin. A few people have raised it with me and that is why I asked if we were looking at it,” Cllr Byrne told the Leader.
“I do think that if we were to go back to reassess it, we might find there is more demand there now.”
This is something the council’s deputy CEO Pat Dowling seemingly concurs with, telling members at last week’s meeting: “I think if there were a study carried out today, the findings may well be different”.
Cllr Byrne recalled that the original proposal for the crematorium was centred around the chapel in Mount St Laurence that is being restored by Limerick Civic Trust.
Of more concern to a number of councillors, meanwhile, were the current security arrangements at Mount St Laurence.
Cllr Maurice Quinlivan, Sinn Fein, praised the council for its recent archival and public information display initiatives in the graveyard but said “some people are still afraid to go in there because of security concerns”.
“I would like to reiterate the need for a garda presence, especially on Sundays,” he said.
Cllr Jerry O’Dea, Fianna Fail, said he would welcome “any sort of security review up there as people can be fearful going in”.
“It’s one thing to restore these places but another to make them secure for people to visit,” Cllr O’Dea said.