Sunday, January 20, 2013

Man seeks planning for privately-run cemetery

A man, who passionately believes people should have the right to be buried in the area they resided, is seeking planning permission for the first privately-run cemetery in Co Cork. 

Dave McCarthy wants to develop the cemetery in Glanmire as the town has no burial plots available.

He has gained widespread backing for the proposal from local people and public representatives.

Mr McCarthy has applied to Cork Co Council to develop a 300-plot cemetery on his land at Rathcooney.

The site is 500 yards from a cemetery which is full.

Mr McCarthy, who lives in nearby Sallybrook, said his relatives have been buried in the old Rathcooney cemetery from as far back as the 1800s. He said unless a new cemetery is found for the satellite town, future generations will have to be buried elsewhere.

The nearest cemeteries are at Kilcully and Little Island but locals would rather be buried in Glanmire.

“It inconveniences grieving relatives if they have to travel far and they shouldn’t have to do that, especially if they’re elderly,” Mr McCarthy said. “It has always been a tradition for long-established families in Glanmire to be buried locally. It’s an Irish tradition.”

Senator John Gilroy and Deputy Billy Kelleher, who both live in the area, are also backing the proposal.

“There’s no grave space left in the parish. Glanmire has a big population and it’s a subject that people often raise with me. Local people will support this,” Mr McCarthy insisted.

The county council has mainly concentrated on opening new cemeteries and extending others on the southside of the city.

The cash-strapped local authority was recently criticised after it said it was looking at centralising cemeteries in West Cork, meaning smaller local graveyards could be closed.

“If private enterprise can assists in building much-needed graveyards then that should be looked at. People are finding it difficult in some areas to get plots near where they live. They like to be buried in their localities and this should be facilitated,” Mr Kelleher said.

As part of the plan, Mr McCarthy will also provide a Columbarium which will hold the ashes of those who wish to be cremated.

He’s also planning to build a car park and has offered to carry out road realignment works in the area. Mr McCarthy said he would also employ a caretaker who would live on site. This, he said, would help prevent vandalism and other forms of anti-social behaviour taking place in the cemetery.

In recent months there have been acts of vandalism and drinking parties reported at graveyards on the southisde of Cork City.

If granted planning permission Mr McCarthy said he would develop the graveyard in phases and expected that many plots would be pre-sold to people living in the general Glanmire area.

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