Council to review new policy on Castlemungret Cemetery closing times

Councillor Daniel Butler.

LIMERICK City and County Council have received a backlash over the implementation of new opening and closing times for Castlemungret Cemetery.

Fine Gael councillor Daniel Butler this week told the Limerick Post that he received a complaint from a visitor to the Mungret cemetery that they could not gain access as the gate was locked.

“I received the complaint and was informed that new opening and closing times were now to be implemented with April to September being 8am until 9pm and October to March being 8am to 4.30pm by Limerick Council. Up until now, people could access the cemetery by a pedestrian gate at any time to visit the grave of a loved one,” Cllr Butler explained.

The City West representative shared the news on social media and there was a huge backlash with people upset at a restriction being placed on their ability to visit the graves of loved ones.

“There was no signage in place, so I wanted to share the news because I didn’t want people visiting and being left disappointed or upset. I too have family and friends buried, including my own father, so I know how much it means to people to be able to visit the grave and the comfort it offers in times of grief.

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“The reaction was clear that people wanted the restrictions lifted because many, like myself, work 9-6pm and would be left unable to visit the cemetery Monday to Friday in the winter months,” he said.

Limerick Council outlined to Cllr Daniel Butler that the rationale was due to health and safety reasons with the absence of public lighting in the darker winter months and also due to recent occurrences of damage to graves as a mitigation measure.

“I understand the Council’s concerns and what they are hoping to achieve but it seems now in society that because of the few the many get punished. So, because of a couple of incidents in cemeteries, we all get punished by not being able to see our loved ones’ graves when we need to.

“Grief can hit us hard anytime and I know many people who visit graves late at night in grief as it is late at night, when our thoughts settle, that we most feel that grief.”

The Raheen/Mungret-based councillor has requested that the Council review the new policy and says he has been informed that the local authority will consider doing so in the coming weeks.

“I hope we can find a compromise here to give comfort to many families across Limerick who use Castlemungret Cemetery.”