Saturday 17 March 2018

'Middle line needs to be found' after public outcry over graveyard flowers and trinkets ban

Stock picture of a cemetery
Stock picture of a cemetery

Claire Fox

A "middle line" needs to be found over a proposed ban on floral tributes, toys and trinkets being placed in front of graves, according to a local councillor.

Fine Gael Councillor Deirdre Forde said she understands the bylaws are cost measures as Cork County Council is often left with the "burden" of looking after graves, but that a middle ground needs to be reached.

She also said that it is wrong that the ban in the county would be introduced "retrospectively"

"If somebody buys a plot of land and knows that they are only allowed have grass, then there's no problem. They shouldn't be applied retrospectively or if people were unaware," Cllr Forde told

"Banning all flowers won't work," the councillor continued.

"There's a real tradition of kerbing and flowers in Irish graveyards. Many people don't pay attention to graves and then the burden is left to the council but I do feel we need to find a middle line as there's been a public outcry about this."

The new bylaws would be implemented in October and would apply to "lawned cemeteries" in the county.

They would ban "kerbing" around the graves, while the "planting of shrubs and flowers" would also not be allowed.

Fianna Fáil Councillor Frank O' Flynn told that the council need to be sensitive towards grieving families if these new rules are implemented. He is also calling for a full review into the matter. 

"It's very upsetting for people. We must think of the families. I've never got so many complaints from families who are so irrate about the new laws. I'm calling for a full review and for us to hold off until families are consulted," Cllr O'Flynn said.

Councillor O' Flynn said that families should have been notified about these bylaws before purchasing plots in the cemetery.

"Families like to bring flowers to graves or in the case of a tragic case they might bring toys to a child's grave. Many families were not aware or never notified about these laws."

Graveyards that would be affected by the ban include the Curraghkippane Graveyard, Blarney, St Joseph’s Graveyard, Little Island and the new extension at Dunbullogue Graveyard, Carrignavar in the Glanmire/Cobh municipal district.

A total of 15 graveyards would be affected in the West Cork area including St Finbarr’s in Dunmanway, Bere Island, Durrus, Rossmore, and Schull.

A council meeting heard that lawned cemeteries including St Oliver’s Ballincollig, St James’s at Chetwynd, which is near the Viaduct on the Bandon Road, and new sections at the graveyards in Ringaskiddy and Passage West are also included in the Ballincollig/Carrigaline area.

The ban would also be undertaken at Kilcrumper New Cemetery, Fermoy. 

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