Council to introduce headstone permits after size row

A CITY council is to introduce strict restrictions on the size of headstones in its cemeteries following the furore surrounding a huge monument erected to a well-known horse dealer.

From next week all bereaved families will have to apply for permission to erect headstones in all four cemeteries maintained by Cork City Council.

The move follows an outcry after the family of the late Tommy Kiely recently erected a 15ft x 20ft monument to his memory.

The monument was put up at St Catherine’s Cemetery, Kilcully, on the northside of the city.

A Cork City Council spokesman confirmed that it would be writing to all undertakers, stonecutters and monument sellers, to inform them that from next week permission will be needed to erect all headstones in its graveyards.

“Headstones will have a maximum height of 7ft, which will allow for traditional Celtic Crosses. For a single plot they will have to be no wider than 4ft,” the city council spokesman said.

“Approval will have to be sought for all headstones. Applications will be processed within one working week,” he added.

The cemeteries affected are St Catherine’s Cemetery, Kilcully; St Michael’s Cemetery, Blackrock; St Finbarr’s Cemetery, Glasheen, and St Joseph’s Cemetery, Ballyphehane.

The Kiely family have defended their right to erect the huge monument.

Concerns have been raised that their memorial is too high and could topple over in a gale.

City council engineers are examining its safety and visual impact.

No decision has yet been made on whether they will ask for the structure to be removed or not.

Meanwhile, the city council is to discuss a motion next Monday night aimed at introducing byelaws to copperfasten the size restrictions.

The motion is being put forward by FG’s Cllr Joe O’Callaghan.

“I welcome news that the council is to outline height restrictions, but we need byelaws to back it,” Cllr O’Callaghan said.

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