Major town running out of graveyard spaces

Time is running out for efforts to acquire land for a burial ground in Killarney.

As nearly all available plots in the town’s three public cemeteries have been taken, Killarney Town Council — which has been unsuccessfully seeking additional burial land for over a decade — feels the local authority could be abolished before progress is made. “We have awindow of 18 months,” said Labour councillor and former mayor Sean Counihan, referring to the 2014 abolition date for town councils.

All of which adds urgency to the council’s efforts to obtain land in Killarney National Park.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service has already rejected council requests for land on the basis that a burial ground would not be an appropriate use of national park land. However, the council has offered to exchange 14 acres it owns in the national park, for land in the Muckross area owned by it.

Town manager John Breen said he had written to senior authorities in the service, but had received no response to his letters and numerous phonecalls.

Mayor Sean O’Grady said it was unacceptable that an official would not return a call and added the council was upset the matter was so slow moving. Cllr Michael Gleeson, stressing the urgency of the situation, said a response should be a matter of simple of courtesy.

He fears a land exchange may not be possible if the council was abolished. The council is to contact Arts and Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan, who has responsibility for the OPW, to expedite the issue.

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