Galway city manager Brendan McGrath has confirmed that he remains “steadfast to see the return” of the seven day burial service, however, due to staffing and budget issues it will take a number of months before the service returns.
Mr McGrath made the comment at Monday’s Galway City Council meeting in response to a query by Fianna Fáil councillor Ollie Crowe who told council executive that “it is past time this decision was reversed”.
“It is the wish of all Galwegians to have the seven day burial service resumed. The manager did state that it was his wish as well,” said Cllr Crowe.
This view was echoed by Labour councillor Tom Costello who told the chamber the issue “has been going on for a long time and is causing great upset to people”. He then asked the manager to confirm what schemes and options are available.
“At the budget meeting in December I said it was my desire to see the return of the seven day burial service. However, the process of providing this is tied to the problem of having sufficient staff in place,” said Mr McGrath, who added that a plan is to be submitted to the department during Easter, that there needs to be the budget in place to provide the service, and due to the Croke Park/Haddington Road Agreement talks with unions regarding rostering has to take place.
Mr McGrath also explained that the Gateway labour activation scheme can not be used for the seven day burial as it can only be used to “fill gaps that have been identified and undertake services not done by the council”. “We can use it to fill workload not done by the council such as the Galway Museum, which is currently not open on Sundays and Mondays,” he said.