'It's just not right' - anger at €2 charge for Dublin cemetery
People visiting Dardistown Cemetery should not have to pay a new parking toll designed to prevent the grounds from being used as a dump or free parking, according to Dublin Lord Mayor Brendan Carr.
However, Mr Carr said he supports the new €2 fee that will come into effect on May 2 to discourage people who are not visiting the cemetery from parking all day for free.
The Glasnevin Trust charity, which operates the cemetery, said the graveyard has also been used as an illegal dumping ground for household waste - including fridges, freezers and mattresses - due to free access to the grounds, especially at weekends.
"High levels of traffic and parking congestion have become a major issue in Dardistown Cemetery and Crematorium," a spokesman said.
"The recent increase in traffic has caused huge damage to the cemetery and its surrounding landscape. The cost of repairing this damage is substantial and to date Glasnevin Trust has paid for all ongoing repairs.
Mr Carr said that while it is "more offensive" to him that people are using the grounds as an illegal dump site than being charged a daily fee to park, it is also not right that legitimate visitors to the cemetery are being charged a fee to park.
"I'd have a concern if someone is visiting every day. Maybe they could register and be given some kind of dispensation," he said.
However, visitors can still park for free outside the cemetery grounds, while those with disabled passes can park for free inside the new gates.
The new fee will be used to beef up security to prevent illegal waste dumping, according to Glasnevin Trust.
Independent councillor Justin Sinnott has said it is "not right" that people should have to pay to visit their loved ones.
"I was pretty taken aback when I heard it myself. It's not fair that people should be charged to use a car park when visiting loved ones who have passed away," he said.
"If it is in response to parking issues, there are other ways to address that issue. Introducing charges for those visiting dead relatives and friends is not right."
However, Mr Carr said he routinely pays a €2 fee to park at Glasnevin Cemetery to visit his mother's grave and says "I've never seen a difficulty with it."