Several of Kerry’s graveyards are almost full and the local authority is being urged to look to innovative ways of increasing space.
According to a report drawn up by Kerry County Council at the request of Kenmare Cllr Johnny Healy-Rae, Kilgarvan cemetery has 49 plots and just nine years left, while Ventry in west Kerry/Corca Dhuibhne has just 41 plots and an estimated 13 years before it is full.
However, Cllr Healy-Rae said he believes Kilgarvan has fewer than 49 spaces and from his understanding, it has just four to five years of grave space left. The nearest graveyard to Kilgarvan is Kenmare, seven miles away.
The council is running out of space in four cemeteries in his Municipal District alone, Cllr Healy-Rae said, claiming the situation was at "a critical point in relation to four – Churchtown (Beaufort), Kilgarvan, Ventry and (Kylemore) Valentia.
"This council must make a concerted effort to deal with landowners,” Cllr Healy-Rae urged.
The landscape in west Cork was similar that of Kilgarvan and he urged the council to look into methods employed in Schull to break rock.
In North Kerry the graveyard in Causeway had just four years of grave plots left according to the council report.
The council has responsibility for 156 burial grounds.