Saturday 19 January 2019

Burial plot costs in capital are 'staggering' - Burton

Joan Burton
Joan Burton

Tanaiste Joan Burton has lashed out at the "staggering" burial costs faced by bereaved families living in the capital.

The Social Protection Minister suggested a two-tier price system had emerged which has resulted in people in rural areas paying significantly less to bury their loved ones.

Ms Burton said that she has been contacted by people living in Dublin who have struggled significantly with the costs associated with purchasing a single urn.

"Some of the cemetery companies, the charges even for putting in a small urn relating to the ashes of a beloved one, they are extraordinarily high in an existing family grave," she said.

Ms Burton was speaking at a sitting of the joint Oireachtas committee on Education and Social Protection.

"Funerals, particularly in the Dublin area, are extraordinarily expensive. And that trend thankfully has not been as extreme outside of Dublin.

"Somebody was talking to me recently about the cost of a small urn on a family grave. First of all, they thought they would be able to do it themselves, they weren't.

"And secondly, the cost they were charged was staggering," she said.

On the first day of the return of the Dail, a woman was arrested outside Leinster House when protests became heated.

She was amongst a group of around 200 activists who had gathered to highlight a number of different issues from mortgages taken over by 'vulture funds' to water charges, pylons and animal rights.

The woman, who was in her 40s and carried a cane because of a disability, was attempting to pass by a security barrier when she was told by gardai that she would have to remain behind it.

It is understood that she then threw herself on the ground, demanding to be allowed pass, claiming that the barriers had been erected illegally.

Meanwhile, ministers have been warned there will be "no spending spree" because of the softer Budget next month.

Public Spending Minister Brendan Howlin has told his colleagues to stop making demands for additional spending next year.

The minister brought a memo to the Cabinet telling colleagues to come forward with proposed expenditure cuts, as required. The package of cuts and taxes in Budget 2015 was supposed to be €2bn.


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