MORE than twice as much money is being spent on graveyards in Clare, as is being generated by the sale of burial plots, a member of the local authority has been told.
Details of income and expenditure related to the 50 burial grounds in the ownership of the council were given to Councillor Shane Talty in response to a request for details for the last four years.
A written reply from Senior Executive Officer Bernadette Haugh outlined that there are 30 council-owned cemeteries that generate revenue from the sale of plots, and 20 that don’t. Over the period 2016 to 2019, a total of €299,794 was raised through sales of plots which vary in price from €315 for a single plot to €735 for a double, depending on the location. Average annual income runs to €74,000, while an annual average of €162,000 is spent.
Reacting to the figures, Councillor Talty noted that concerned members of the public frequently got in touch about the condition of paths and boundary walls. “A lot falls back on voluntary committees,” he also noted. “CE schemes also do great work and I know of one scheme that looks after nine sites locally. They do invaluable work.” The Fianna Fáil member suggested that a system of shared resources might be put in place. “There might be some merit in sharing an operative who might be tasked with works of a fairly small scale nature. We are dealing with memorials to peoples’ lives and they must be presented in a condition that we can be proud of.”
In its response to Councillor Talty, the council’s response also acknowledged the work of local communities in maintaining burial grounds around the county.