Monday 18 December 2017

Man's horror as graveyard slides into his garden: 'Bones have been exposed, including part of a skull'

Stock picture of a cemetery
Stock picture of a cemetery

Rebecca Lumley

Human remains, including bones and pieces of skull, have been sliding into a man’s back garden.

Frank Taaffe found the remains at the wall separating his garden from Monknewtown Cemetery in Slane, Co Meath.

Mr Taaffe said the problems began 20 years ago, when the ground in the cemetery became saturated with rainwater and pushed the wall outwards and is afraid the problem will only get worse.

He is calling on Meath Co Council to fix the adjoining wall before the land falls further, disrupting recently dug graves.

Mr Taaffe told the Meath Chronicle: "It has got worse since then and over the past 20 years part of the wall has fallen, exposing bones.

"It is only a matter of time before the graves start moving. Already bones have been exposed, including part of a skull and what looks as if it was a very old headstone has fallen into my garden.

"We are faced with more graves falling into the garden and some of them more recent."

The graveyard is part of the Medieval Mellifont Abbey complex and though many of the graves are quite old, people are still being buried there.

Aside from the issue of exposed bones, Mr Taaffe warned that the wall needed repair as it "could collapse on you before you could move."

He said that his grandchildren could not play in the garden because of the dangers posed by the crumbling structure.

Fine Gael councillor Paddy Meade has also called on Meath County Council to carry out the required repairs.

He said: "It is very distressing for a lot of people. It is exhumation by default. That cemetery is still used to this day.

"If something isn't done now, the rest of the wall will gradually crumble and will fall. It would only take two men a couple of days to put this right.

"I know we are short on resources but this is something that really needs to be done."

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