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Nama could solve crisis of costly graves

NAMA could be the unlikely answer to the prayers of many Dublin families who can no longer afford a final resting place.

As the price of burial plots in the capital continues to soar, a suggestion has been made that some Nama lands be set aside for cemeteries.

Despite the dramatic drop in land prices, a single 10ft strip of land inside a graveyard can cost as much as €6,000.

The startling figure has caused a significant rise in the number of cremations and is putting severe strain on grieving families.

A Dublin MEP is now proposing the establishment of a co-op cemetery in order to lessen the financial hardship.

The plan could involve a combination of church organisations and Credit Unions, who already provide a death benefit for their members.

"The growing expense of burial ground in Dublin can partly be attributed to a problem of insufficient space in the city's graveyards," Fine Gael's Gay Mitchell told the Herald.


"Some constituents have been shocked and upset to learn that they cannot choose to bury their relative in the same graveyard where the family plot is, as space is unavailable."

He said a Cooperative Cemetery in Dublin would help maintain the availability and affordability of traditional burial customs.

In making the proposal, Mr Mitchell suggested some of the now NAMA-controlled land around the city could be used for an additional cemetery.

"As a result of exorbitant costs, I understand many Dublin residents feel they can no longer afford to provide a traditional Christian burial for their deceased relative and instead are forced to choose cremation as a cheaper alternative. An increase in cremations in Dublin would seem to support this assertion," he claimed.

Funeral Directors Ron Massey and Sons say: "The cost of purchasing a new grave ranges from €1,200 to €5,000, although, in some cemeteries, new graves can cost a lot more."

But the MEP says that his own research suggests that plots can cost in excess of €6,000.