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Shannon crematorium project in limbo

Owen Ryan

THERE has been interest in developing a crematorium at Shannon for  years and the site where planning permission has been granted for one is now going on sale.

Two different parties are said to be interested in purchasing it and putting in place the first crematorium in the West of Ireland.

Prior to this week’s Shannon Electoral Area meeting, Councillor Gerry Flynn put forward a motion asking that “the proposed sale of land adjacent to Illaunmanagh Graveyard to private speculators for commercial activity be ceased”.

His motion also asked that the “land originally purchased from Shannon Development at a reduced price for the purpose of a burial ground in Shannon be retained for that purpose by the council.”

In a written report, Clare County Council’s senior executive officer, Michael McNamara outlined plans for the site, and he indicated that more than one party is interested.

“The original promoters of the crematorium are no longer interested in pursuing their proposal. The period of validity of the planning permission was extended in 2013 on the application of Jim Cranwell and the planning permission on the site for the crematorium now applies to March 2019.

“At the present time, two parties have indicated an interest in acquiring the property for the purposes of providing a crematorium and it is proposed to offer the lands for sale on the open market. An auctioneer has been instructed accordingly and details in this regard will be in the local media this week. Any proposed sale of the lands arising from this will be brought before the area members and the full council pursuant to the provisions of the Local Government Acts.”

The report also stated that the crematorium site is part of a 15.9 acre area and 10 acres would remain, which could be used for the development of a burial ground in the future.

At the moment, planning is also being sought for a crematorium in Clarecastle. An application has been made by Fenloe Property Development Ltd, and the planning authority has requested additional information on the proposal. Several objections have been lodged with the planning authority.

On Wednesday, Councillor Flynn said that, in his view, the land is needed to extend the existing cemetery.
“In the last year in Shannon we have lost approximately 73 people. The extension that we put in place down there is filling up rapid. Shannon has an ageing population. My attitude was that we have to keep this land because it was originally purchased from Shannon Development for a burial ground. I’m not going to support selling it on the open market; I want to retain it as an extension to the burial ground, which will be needed. The crematorium, as far as I’m concerned, is a commercial venture and the percentage of people looking for cremation is very small.”
He said that people who think that it will be a facility for the town are mistaken.

“People are of the notion this will be a fantastic community facility – far from it, this here will be a commercial activity for the West of Ireland. Where our cemetery is located is a cul-de-sac; it’s on the estuary. All of the traffic associated with the commercial activity of a crematorium would have to travel through the town of Shannon.”

 

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