Security hired for flood-hit graveyard
Published 21/11/2011 | 05:00
A PRIVATE security firm has been employed at a graveyard where coffins were left exposed when a wall collapsed during recent heavy flooding.
The Irish Independent understands that the security guards will remain in place until the new year at the earliest.
Families whose relatives were buried at the Old Abbey Cemetery in Howth, Co Dublin, have been in discussions with officials over how the remains may be properly exhumed.
However, it is unclear exactly how long these works will take or what the final bill will be for Fingal County Council.
A section of wall collapsed at the site following heavy rain and flooding last month.
The cemetery and the 15th century church, hugely popular with visiting tourists, remain closed and guarded by at least two security personnel.
Speaking last month, a man described his devastation when pictures of his parents' exposed coffins were published on the internet.
"I was devastated," John Bennett said.
"This was supposed to be my parents' final resting place," he added.
A source indicated that security is likely to be in place for another six months -- meaning a considerable bill for Fingal County Council, which has been left with no option but to supervise the site carefully.
A total of four plots were exposed by the collapse although the exact number of coffins -- or how many were buried in each plot -- is unclear.