An increasing preference for cremation is easing the problem of a shortage of public burial space in Killarney.
for over a decade, have petitioned Kerry County Council warning
mourning families are under stress due to the shortage. Cllr Maura
Healy-Rae claimed: “Shortly, a husband and wife will not be buried
Killarney deaths average about 110 yearly but just ten double plots
for new graves remain in the main Aghadoe Cemetery with existing family
graves having space for 40 deceased.
A new graveyard, designed and earmarked south-east of Aghadoe will
not be completed before space runs out, entirely.
graves are “now dug deep” in Aghadoe and coffins can be alongside or top
of each other.
Exact information on the numbers of plots and the exact
locations of the remaining burial spaces led to a heated debate in the
She said undertakers need to know exactly where the plots were
available and suggested remaining graves need to be clearly marked so
everyone would know the exact number of spaces left.
There are fears pathways in the cemetery are being marked as ‘resting space’.
An older graveyard, at Muckross Abbey, is closed to ‘newcomers’ and
accepts only burials of the town’s long-established families.
The popularity of Killarney as a retirement town — voted as one of
the top ten places in the world to retire — is putting additional
pressure on demand for grave space in Aghadoe.
About 1,400 plots, are available in outlying village cemeteries but an undertaker said: “People want to be buried in Killarney.”
The council insists space is available in the public graveyard at
Aghadoe until the new graveyard becomes available.
It has denied pushing
Killarney families to opt for outlying graveyards such as Glenflesk,
off the main Cork to Killarney road.
However, an increase in cremation is lessening the burden.
ago, an average of three deaths in Killarney led to cremations at
Haulbowline but, last year showed 15% of all funerals in the town were
“It’s amazing — it has really taken off,” one undertaker
A chief reason, he said, is cremation allowed for scattering
of the ashes in favourite places, sometimes in several locations.
Meanwhile, a new cemetery at Knockeenduff, Killarney, and with 2,315 plots, it could have enough burial space for 35 years.