Graves crisis nears resolution

Long-running efforts to resolve a graves crisis in Killarney, Co Kerry, are expected to bear fruit early in 2015.

Graves crisis nears resolution

An emergency meeting of Killarney Municipal Authority heard yesterday the council is still negotiating the purchase of a privately-owned cemetery in Aghadoe, near the town, while a total of eight land options are being actively pursued.

A motion by Independent Cllr Brendan Cronin, who called the meeting — that the council withdraw from negotiations with the private cemetery owners — failed to find a seconder.

Authority manager John Breen said discussions were continuing to acquire the 2.5-acre Aghadoe property, which had 800 plots.

“We should be in a position to conclude an agreement before our next meeting (January 28),” he said.

“I will pursue all options with vigour and will not enter into any agreement until I come back to you at that meeting with all options. There is no agreement in place for any of the options — there are discussions, but no agreements.’’

Cllr Cronin said the council could get better value for €500,000 that had been ringfenced for the purchase of a burial ground. There were landowners near Killarney who were prepared to offer six to eight acres for the same money, he added.

Last week, the council announced it was making an extra 100 spaces available in the Aghadoe public cemetery, which adjoins the private cemetery.

However, Cllr Cronin said many people, who had been told in recent years no more spaces were available, were “incensed’’ by that.

He produced a letter from the council to undertakers, in 2008, which stated “no new plots” were available in Aghadoe, and called on the council to apologise to disappointed people for giving out inaccurate information.

Mr Breen said he had not been aware of the letter and would apologise to any people whose names would be given to him.

Ind Cllr Donal Grady said it was absolutely vital to purchase the Aghadoe private cemetery.

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