Friday 19 July 2019

Laneway to old cemetery set to get major upgrade following petition

Kilranelagh Cemetery
Kilranelagh Cemetery

Myles Buchanan

Works will be carried out on the roadway leading to Kilranelagh Graveyard after close to 400 people signed up to a petition about the lack of access to the cemetery.

The graveyard is rumoured to be the second oldest graveyard in Ireland and there is evidence at the site of pre-Christian burials.

The cemetery is located on a hill in Colvinstown Upper, which has meant funeral hearses and other vehicles are unable to properly access the site.

Funding has been approved to carry out an upgrade of the road leading to the cemetery following a local campaign which culminated in a petition with hundreds of signatures.

Cllr Tommy Cullen, Cathaoirleach of Baltinglass Municipal District, estimates that the works will cost in the region of €80,000.

'The roadway isn't accessible so hearses can't get to the graveyard so families have to carry the coffins of loved ones up to the cemetery. In the past tractors have had to be used. It's still an open graveyard but the laneway was never tarmacked and you are talking about a very steep 400 or 500 metres. People visiting the graves of loved ones can't drive up as far as the cemetery either. It's particularly tough on elderly people trying to visit a grave,' said Cllr Cullen.

The petition calls for the upgrade and resurfacing of the laneway to Kilranelagh Graveyard. The works are expected to start the works in Spring of this year.

A Council Engineer also recently visited the sites and is confident the works, once completed, will help alleviate flooding issues.

'It's such an historically important graveyard,' said Cllr Cullen. 'It celebrates its 400th anniversary this year according to Diocese records, but there are other records that say it is even older. Kevin McAllister is buried there, as are a lot of the other of the 1798 rebels. I have family members of my own buried there. I have to commend the local community for starting the petition and I am sure they will warmly welcome the works when they are finished'.

Wicklow People