Calls for use of CPOs to buy land for graveyards as prices soar
Calls have been made for compulsory purchase orders (CPO) to be used for graveyards as farmers ramp up prices for land.
Fianna Fáil councillor Malachy Noone has expressed concern that landowners were looking for too much money.
The Galway County Council representative also suggested that the council embarks on the compulsory purchase of lands for graveyards in situations where no agreement can be reached with landowners.
Cllr Noone made the suggestion at a meeting of Athenry-Oranmore Municipal Council when it was said that the graveyards in Claregalway and Annaghdown were close to being full and needed to be extended.
He pointed out that the land where Claregalway Cemetery is located was acquired back in the late 1960s by a CPO and there was no reason why this process could not be used again.
"Some of the landowners are looking for money that would be close to development prices and that is not sustainable," he added. "The council cannot pay exorbitant prices for land so there is nothing wrong with going down the route of issuing a CPO in order to extend a graveyard."
Independent councillor James Charity was in agreement with embarking on the CPO process. He said: "We have a crisis situation. There is no doubt about that.
"But the council also has to be realistic in its approach to acquiring lands to extend graveyards."