More talk on Abbeyfeale graveyard than councillors have had hot dinners

Liam Galvin, Fine Gael. Photo: Cian Reinhardt

THE urgent need for a new cemetery in Abbeyfeale was on the Council agenda again this week.

Fine Gael councillor and Abbeyfeale native Liam Galvin raised concerns over the dwindling burial space in Reilig Íde Naofa, which is said to be nearing capacity.

“This is urgent and we have to sort it out. We need to make it a priority,” Cllr Galvin told the council executive at this month’s Newcastle West Municipal District meeting.

Party colleague John Sheahan explained that two new sites in Abbeyfeale were tested in August for suitability of a new burial ground. He also felt a “circus” had been made out of the issue and asked to know whether there is, or is not, urgency surrounding the matter.

“There was an urgency in 2004 for a new cemetery in Abbeyfeale. There was an urgency again in 2017 and now there is urgency once more. We need to figure out if we have enough spaces. If so, so be it. It is becoming a circus,” Cllr Sheahan commented.

Cllr Galvin said he was taken aback at Cllr Sheahan’s remarks and said this was not “electioneering” but something he had continuously been vocal on since 2004.

“Our standards are far too high compared to the reports I’ve heard from other local authorities. We can build houses on this land but it is not suitable for graveyards,” he fumed.

Director of Services for Newcastle West Municipal District, Gordon Daly pointed out that there are different standards and criteria that have to be met for cemeteries.

“There is sufficient space in the short to midterm. Ye are not equipped to make these decisions. There is a process in place and we have to follow it,” Mr Daly said.

Cathaoirleach of Newcastle West Municipal District, Jerome Scanlan reminded councillors of the importance of “getting this right”.

“We have had more discussions on this than I’ve had hot dinners,” he added.