CONTROVERSY surrounding the erection of oversized and ostentatious gravestones or memorials in Limerick’s municipal cemeteries could be dealt with through a proposed new byelaw that would allow “outsized monumental headstones or larger sized graves” in designated areas - and subject to an annual maintenance fee payable to the City Council
Meanwhile, the gardai will be asked to mount regular patrols of city graveyards at designated times amid anxiety over attacks and robberies.
During a discussion on the draft cemetery byelaws at the environment committee, Cllr Maurice Quinlivan said oversized graves needed to be “regulated much better than they have been in the past” as there were some which encroached on to neighbouring plots.
Cllr John Gilligan said that births, deaths and marriages were accorded huge significance by “some sections of society” but it was “totally inappropriate” for them to erect monuments of the likes seen “in the Valley of the Kings”.
“If they want to spend tens of thousands putting up huge monuments that is for them but the Council should not have to spend a fortune maintaining them,” he added.
Director of service Caroline Curley said there were “cultural differences where some people do want bigger graves” and there had “been issues with people abusing that”.
The current proposal was to designate areas within the cemeteries for outsized graves, for which relatives would be charged a maintenance fee.