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Gavin drops fight over Angels plot revamp

TV gardener Diarmuid Gavin has withdrawn his opposition to a controversial revamp of Glasnevin Cemetery's Angels plot after talks with the graveyard's bosses.

The celebrity garden designer and broadcaster had backed opponents of the refurbishment works at the huge plot that holds the remains of 40,000 infants.

But he has now changed his mind after a briefing and said the plan "sounds lovely".

He has urged all parties in the dispute to talk to each other, accepting that "not everybody is going to be happy".

Gavin set out his views in a letter sent to Glasnevin Trust and posted with his permission on the organisation's website.

He had become involved in the controversy when he was approached by a bereaved parent who was worried about the plans.

In the letter, he tells how he was moved by the fears of parents who opposed the plans, agreed to back them and was "honoured" by their request for support.

"I agreed that my name could be used from that moment on in association with the wishes of some of the parents for help and possibly for a new design", he said.

He then returned to England for the shooting of an "intensive" TV programme.

However, he was later contacted by Glasnevin Trust who queried his involvement and invited him to a meeting.

"It was a friendly, constructive and open engagement and led me to a greater understanding of the situation," he said.

"There are great difficulties with the plots. Rules about memorials and ornamentation haven't been strictly enforced by the cemetery, which has led to a culture of individual plots being marked out and filled with mementoes."