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Locals are dying to clean up graveyards – but they can’t

August 6th, 2021 7:05 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Locals in Timoleague have said the Catholic graveyard is in ‘a terrible state’. Some have resorted to cutting grass around their own relatives’ graves themselves. (Photo: Andy Gibson)

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FRUSTRATED communities are willing to upkeep overgrown graveyards in the Bandon Kinsale Municipal District, but are prevented from doing so because they are Council property.

Councillors at a Bandon Kinsale Municipal District meeting queried if funds had been made available for the maintenance and upkeep of graveyards across the municipal district.

They said some graveyards within the catchment weren’t being maintained, are overgrown and they have received numerous complaints from people on this issue.

Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) asked if the money has been found to upkeep the graveyards and highlighted the graveyard by Charles Fort.

‘It certainly needs trimming and is grossly overgrown and would need help there,’ said Cllr Murphy.

Cllr John O’Sullivan (FG) said that over the past two weeks he has received phone calls every night about graveyards that aren’t up the scratch.

‘I have communities out there willing to go in and do the cutting themselves but I’m telling them they can’t as it’s Council property,’ said Cllr O’Sullivan.

‘We’re in a Catch-22 situation here because the community can’t do it and we’re not doing it and some of these graveyards aren’t in an acceptable state.’

Cllr Murphy proposed for a full motion to be put forward to Cork County council and said it’s a countywide problem and that funding needs to be found from headquarters.

Cllr O’Sullivan said he supported his colleague’s proposal and said that funding has to be found for graveyards as a matter of urgency.

‘We also need to set a marker for next year as well because if we don’t speak it will drag on till next year.’

Senior executive officer Mac Dara O’ h-Icí said there had been cuts in the funding but they are trying to concentrate on the busier graveyards.

‘If there are specific graveyards that ye want to highlight then let me know but we’re doing the best we can with the budget we have.’

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