It has been a long battle but thankfully the growing crisis surrounding burial space at Churchtown Graveyard in Beaufort is set to be resolved with news that land to extend the graveyard has been acquired.
Kerry County Council have confirmed this week that negotiations to purchase land have been finalised and the local authority will now seek planning for the graveyard. A public consultation process will be undertaken.
The news has been widely welcomed not least by Beaufort Community Council who have been campaigning for more than 15 years for additional space for the graveyard.
"It is excellent news. It is the single biggest issue in the community. It has been going on so long, people feared that they would have to bury loved ones outside the parish,” said Padruig O’Sullivan.
He made an emotional plea last year calling on the council to rectify the situation which he said was ‘causing anxiety’ to families in the locality.
“Beaufort Community Council has consistently over many years tried to highlight this problem, but, unfortunately Kerry County Council did not seem to grasp the gravity of the situation. We have now almost reached full capacity in the existing graveyard and we earnestly request and implore Kerry County Council to immediately source and develop a new burial ground,” he told a municipal meeting.
Mr O’Sullivan thanked everyone and in particular the local family on whose land the new graveyard will be developed.
Cllr Michael Cahill, who long campaigned for the issue to be resolved.
"I am delighted an agreement has been reached by Kerry County Council, to purchase additional lands, next to the present burial ground at Churchtown, for extension purposes. This is the perfect solution for all involved, as future interments can continue there.”
He has called for a Columbarium wall to be installed at the graveyard.