No room for new burials as local cemetery reaches full capacity

Cllr. Michael 'Mogie' Maher at Killimordaly Graveyard which is at capacity. Photo: Hany Marzouk.

A small rural community in East Galway has to bury their dead outside the immediate area – because their local cemetery has reached full capacity.

But what is infuriating locals in Killimordaly is the fact that an extension to the graveyard has been mooted and a plot of land has been identified – the Council will not move on its acquisition.

However, there is a belief that officials have delayed acquiring the half acre of land to extend the cemetery amid concerns that it could be prone to flooding – because it is located close to a stream.

But Cllr Michael Mogie Maher told a meeting of Galway County Council that he had been speaking to locals and they did not believe that there was a risk of this patch of ground flooding and there was no historical evidence to indicate this.

A flood risk assessment is currently being carried out but Cllr Maher wants the matter on the agenda for the December meeting of Galway County Council. He explained that agreement had been reached with the landowner concerned.

The Fine Gael councillor explained that the cemetery in Killimordaly is now full to capacity and the only people that can be buried there are those whose families already have graves.

He said that if a person passes away and they have no family buried there, then there is no choice as they have to be interred outside the immediate area. Cllr Maher said that this was proving very distressful for many families in the area.

“Everything was going according to plan”, he said. “There was a piece of ground identified to extend the graveyard and we assumed that everything would proceed as normal. However, the Council has placed a barrier in the way of the local community but expressing fears about a flood risk”.

He has urged Galway County Council to simply “get on with it” and has insisted that it be on the agenda for discussion at the December when he hopes the matter can be finalised once and for all.

His FG colleague Cllr Aidan Donohue agreed that the matter had been “dragging on” for far too long and it was a case that families would be forced to bury loved ones in a different plot. “There is an onus on us to ensure that the extension to Killimordaly Graveyard is provided as soon as possible”, he added.

He said that everything had been falling into place in that the land necessary for the extension had been identified and added that it was now up to Galway County Council to deliver on this project for the local community.

Cllr Michael Connolly of Fianna Fail said that he also had been contacted in relation to the matter and he has also urged the matter be resolved as soon as possible as it was an emotional issue for a lot of families in the locality.