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Fr Pat O' Neill

Grave need for cemetery sites

THE parish of Dysart and Ruan is appealing for sites for use as graveyards, as the existing cemeteries in both villages fill up.

Parish priest, Fr Pat O’Neill, said new burial grounds are needed and is calling on people to make land available for them. He said that people can still be buried in family graves but that there are very few new plots available.

“I think there is only another grave or two in the graveyard in Ruan, so if there are a few new graves required shortly, we could be in trouble,” he said.

Fr O’Neill stated that suitable sites are needed quickly.

“Going to Kyle or Drumcliffe, or Corofin is not acceptable. People should be able to be buried in their own place. One of the things I would say is that any old graveyard is not an archaeological site. They are living places. They are for the living and for the dead and I don’t think the OPW, or anyone else, should be able to come along and say ‘no, these places can’t be used’,” he said.

Any proposed graveyard would have to go through the planning process and, in Ruan and Dysart, an archaeological assessment is likely to be required if new proposed sites are close to the existing graveyards, because these are protected under national monuments legislation.

Betty Devaney, administrative officer in Clare County Council’s community section, said the local authority looks favourably on graveyard applications from local communities. She advised parish representatives to meet with council officials when a site in either location is identified.

“In Ruan and Dysart, both of those burial grounds would be recorded monuments. They are afforded protection already under national monuments legislation, which would be under the remit of the OPW. That is where that is coming from. If they were to find a site, then they would need to apply for planning permission. The council would provide technical help and support to them but it cannot do drawings or anything like that for them, because that would be in conflict with planning regulation but they would give them help and advice,” she said.

“If they come in, we will give them any help or assistance they need. They can bring their architect or engineer and we will talk to them about it,” she said.

“In both areas, Ruan and especially Dysart, they would need an archaeological assessment first because within 30 metres of any of the graves, there could be remains or archaeological findings,” she added.

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