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Tuam Cathedral grounds need pruning

The state of the grounds surrounding Tuam’s historic Church of Ireland Cathedral has been labelled a disgrace.

Services are still celebrated at the old St Mary’s Cathedral which was originally built in the 12th century before it was destroyed by fire.

The church was not replaced for several hundred years; the current structure was completed in the late 1800s and remains an imposing sight on the landscape in Tuam.

However, while the historic building is a much-visited attraction for both locals and visitors in the town, the surrounds leave a lot to be desired.

Tuam area member Cllr Pete Roche said that the graves and grounds surrounding the cathedral are a disgrace because they have become so overgrown.

From the outside, he said the Cathedral was a very impressive building and he believed that the interior is maintained to a high standard.

But he added: “when you go around the sides and the back of the cathedral, it is a completely different story and I really don’t know where to lay the blame as I don’t know who is responsible for its upkeep.

“However, to see the graves become so overgrown is an awful pity because it shows a lack of regard for those who are buried there.

“There may not be family members around who are in a position to maintain the graves but if there was a scheme applied for and brought in, it would help to some degree,” added Cllr Roche.

Some of the headstones around the cathedral date back to the 1800s while there are some Church of Ireland parishioners who have been buried there as recently as 2020 and a couple of years earlier.

Cllr Andrew Reddington said that from the front of the cathedral, it would seem that it was a beautifully maintained structure, but a trip around the back reveals something completely different.

The Headford councillor said that he was shown the back of the iconic building and could not believe that it was in such a state.

“I am sure that there are schemes out there that would be able to tidy up the graveyard section of the old protestant cathedral in a matter of hours,” he said.

“At the moment, it is in a shocking condition and completely overgrown. There are probably graves in there for which there are no descendants living locally and as a result of this, they are not being maintained.

“There are some impressive headstones there and some which date back hundreds of years. It would be great to have them restored to their former glory,” Cllr Reddington added.


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