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City golf course may be turned into graveyard

A GRAVEYARD could be built over part of a Dublin golf course to address a shortage of space for burials.

Fianna Fail councillor David McGuinness made the suggestion to tackle a severe lack of burial plots in St Margaret's village in North Co Dublin.

Mr McGuinness, a candidate in the forthcoming Dublin West by-election, said it is a "huge" issue in rural parts of the capital, where many existing cemeteries are full.

"The difficulty is that they're all full and there's no land coming on stream to develop new ones," he told the Herald.

Land is available in St Margaret's golf course, near an existing graveyard, which would be suitable for new plots, he added.

Mr McGuinness has proposed Fingal County Council buy the space from the club.

Graves can cost up to €6,000 so the council would make the money back, he pointed out.

In a question tabled for Monday's meeting of the council, Mr McGuinness has asked officials to contact the golf club to ascertain the possibility of buying the land.



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He also wants them to speak with the local community to "gauge potential uptake" of the new plots to ensure "this initiative is, at the very least, a cost neutral exercise for the council".

Residents in the village have been complaining about the problems with burial space for at least 10 years.

In 2001, Fingal councillors Michael Kennedy and Anne Devitt asked Fingal to report on the amount of spaces available in graveyards in the St Margaret's area.

They stated there was an obvious shortage of spaces for residents and called on officials to "immediately purchase extra land" to provide new plots.

Many areas of Dublin are experiencing similar problems.

It emerged in July that Balbriggan was at least six months away from seeing its new cemetery open, even though only 14 plots were left available in the town's existing graveyard at St Peter and Paul's.

However, Fingal maintained there was enough capacity in the town to meet the demand until the new graveyard opened.

Balbriggan town councillor, Monica Harford had expressed concern about the shortage.

comurphy@herald.ie