Wednesday 23 January 2019

Call for OPW to take over old graveyard

Council has no money to maintain historic Faughart Graveyard

Faughart cemetery
Faughart cemetery

Margaret Roddy

A call for the Office of Public Works (OPW) to take over the historic Faughart Graveyard was made at the monthly meeting of the Municipal District of Dundalk.

Cllr Maeve Yore wanted the Council to request the OPW to take over 'this hugely historical site' in view of the fact that Louth County Council had advised members that they had inadequate funds to maintain or renovate Faughart graveyard at the Hill of Faughart.

Cllr Peter Savage noted that it was 'one of the most historic sites in the county' and complained that the Council didn't seem to have money to look after it but had money to look after a plethora of other graveyards. He said communities in north Louth looked after their own graveyards, saving the council money, and funds should be given to this neglected area.

While he wasn't a fan of the OPW he felt this was the right approach to take.

Cllr Mark Dearey, who seconded the motion, pointed out that the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Faughart was coming up and this was the time to get something done about the site.

A heritage analysis had been done on the site a few years ago thanks to the Heritage Officer Brendan McSherry and all the actions in that plan were doable and achievable.

The site had huge tourism potential, particularly from Scottish visitors coming off the ferry and travelling along the motorway. 'It's an untold story,' he said.

Acting chairperson Cllr Emma Coffey agreed, saying 'It's the best kept secret in the area' yet here they had no money to invest in the site for the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Faughart.

Cllr Yore believed it was 'a missed opportunity' for Louth County Council. 'The Hill of Faughart was 'older than Newgrange at 5,000 years old,' she said.'Cuchullain fought a battle there, the Battle of Faughart took place there and it is the birthplace of St Bridget and the burial place of Edward the Bruce.'

The Argus