A Galway city councillor has hit out at the delay in opening grave plots on the east side of the city.
Galway City East Declan McDonnell described the ongoing space concerns at Bohermore cemetery “as a joke”.
Cllr McDonnell said; “It is a joke. Ten years we are looking for a grave site. People have been told to go to Rinville in Oranmore. People want to buried on the side they live on. When are we going to get a site on the east side of city? It is a joke that it is taking so long.”
The councillor’s comments come after members of Galway City Council chamber were told there was to be an extension of Mount St Joseph’s Cemetery in Rahoon which would accommodate approximately 641 proposed graves, 45 urn plots, and a memorial garden which will include an area for cremated remains. An access road is also proposed, as well as appropriated landscaping throughout the site.
Although councillors welcomed the news of the increased number of grave plots many concurred with Cllr McDonnell’s sentiments.
Fianna Fáil councillor Ollie Crowe said the lack of plots on the east side of the city was “a farcical situation” and the management should take the blame because of “lack of foresight” and “no urgency in relation to this”.
Independent councillor Mike Cubbard said the 641 graves were “only a stop gap”, with Fine Gael councillor Pádraig Conneely questioning whether the council had any plans for a crematorium for the city.
Director of services Tom Connell strongly rejected that the council was taking a laissez-faire approach to identifying and securing new grave plots for the city.
Mr Connell said; “We are actively pursuing the acquisition of land [for grave plots] and have been doing so for the past number of years. I reject the notion we are relaxed about it. The county [council] are finding it difficult to find land for extension of burial sites so it is not a problem unique to ourselves. It is urgent work but we have dedicated people leading it.”