Killarney Town Council owns 14 acres in the Mangerton area, inside the boundaries of Killarney National Park, and the council is seeking to exchange this for other land in the park, which would be used as a graveyard.
The council has earmarked land in the Muckross area, closer to the town, as suitable for a graveyard.
However, the National Parks and Wildlife Service regional manager Pat Dawson told the council the current legal situation was that the NPWS could not sell or dispose of any land in the park.
The NPWS could make land available under licence, he added, which had happened in the Killarney area.
A licence could be rolled over every year, but there was always the possibility of the land reverting to its original use.
Mr Dawson said that would not be feasible and the best way to progress the exchange would be to amend the Bourne Vincent Memorial Park Act.
The council’s request is being considered at a senior level in the NPWS.
Burial spaces are running out in Killarney’s three public graveyards and local authorities have been seeking additional land in the town’s surrounds for years.
Mayor Sean O’Grady said the need for land was “more immediate than long-term”.