Friday 22 September 2017

Family fury as headstone placed at the foot of grave

Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

A GRIEVING family is locked in a dispute with its local council over where they can erect a headstone at their loved one's grave.

The widow and family of Brendan Moriarty have been told they can only place a headstone at his feet because the burial plot is in a lawn cemetery, where headstones are placed back-to-back to allow for easy maintenance.

Mr Moriarty, who was living in Dublin but a native of Lisdargan near Lispole in Co Kerry, died suddenly in February 2013 and was buried in the local cemetery.

In-keeping with Christian burial rituals, bodies interred at Minard Cemetery are facing the east but because the graves are laid out in rows of two with a pathway at either side, the headstones are erected on a concrete plinth at the centre.

This means that, depending on what side a person is buried, the headstone will lie above their head or their feet.

A spokesman for the council says this would have been clear to the family when they bought the plot at the graveyard, which opened in 2008.

But the Moriartys say they were not aware of this and they want to erect a headstones at Brendan's head.

Mr Moriarty's sister-in-law, Teresa Rafter Moriarty, said the issue was adding to the family's grief.

"My sister-in-law Joan only received a copy of the bye-laws and regulations when she requested it three months later," she said.

"She did not realise the headstone would be put at her husband's feet and when she asked if she could put it at his head instead she was told she could not."

A spokesman for Kerry County Council said: "It is clearly set out in the conditions attached to the purchase of internment rights in a lawn-style burial ground that headstones and crosses must be erected on the foundation provided."

Irish Independent

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