Clare County Council has moved to avert a grave problem as they’ve sanctioned the construction of an extension and associated site works to the town’s main burial ground at Drumcliffe.
The extension is situated immediately south of the Ballyalla Special Area of Conservation.
However, the proposal didn’t meet with universal approval.
A number of people expressed concerns that the development might adversely affect the town’s water source, as the site is located within the inner source protection area for the Drumcliffe Springs.
Addressing those concerns, the council accepted that proper provision would be made for the collection and disposal of surface water as part of the overall development but argued that the proposed development “is unlikely to give rise to a deterioration in ground water quality”.
“Surface water will also be collected and disposed of in a manner that it will not be permitted to flow into nearby properties,” planning said.
However, the council has agreed to park plans for a new vehicular access road, due to the lack of available sight visibility.
In arriving at this decision, the council was guided by the conservation office, which was not in favour of the demolition of the front wall, which was also close to burials that may be disturbed and was close to the ecclesiastical boundary of the old church, a recorded monument, and would require archaeological investigation.
However, the council has agreed that archaeological monitoring will take place and to omit the proposed entrance works. Instead, they will continue to use “the existing most northerly entrance”.
Meanwhile, Councillor Tommy Brennan has urged the council to consider extending the Clareabbey graveyard as a possible option.
Speaking at a local authority meeting on Monday, Councillor Brennan pointed out that the way Ennis had developed in recent years, Clareabbey was now very near the heart of the county town.
“We can’t keep extending Drumcliffe, we need to look at extending Clareabbey graveyard,” he said.His proposal to consider extending Clareabbey was supported by Clarecastle Councillor, Paul Murphy.