A FINE Gael councillor has once again highlighted the neglect of West Cork’s graveyards.
According to Cllr Karen Coakley – who raised the issue last year as a motion at a meeting of the West Cork Municipal District – ‘people are saying it’s getting worse.’
She had questioned the Council’s maintenance programme, some of which is carried out by Council employees, and some of which is done by contractors.
‘We are nearly a full year on and nothing has been done,’ she said. ‘People are very upset because it is an upsetting issue.’
She said she was embarrassed by the condition of some of the graveyards. ‘We need to look after our graveyards. They are a sacred space.’
Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) said not enough money is being spent on the upkeep of local graveyards.
‘You go into some graveyards and you’d wonder if anyone is in charge of it at all,’ he said.
The Fianna Fáil councillor suggested that they – as members of the West Cork Municipal District – should go back to a full Council meeting and request an increase in funding.
Senior executive officer MacDara O h-Icí said the Council has applied for additional funding but it was not made available as part of the budget.
‘We have been trying to juggle our funding to get better value, but we might not get a result this year,’ he added.
‘If there are specific ones with issues we will go back to the contractors or the caretakers,’ he said.
Cllr Carroll expressed his annoyance that they have been discussing this issue for ‘the last three or four years.’
‘It is no wonder people are complaining,’ he added, ‘because the system isn’t working.’
Cllr Paul Hayes (Ind) said it looked as if some of the grass in some graveyards is cut once every four or five weeks.
‘It’s not ideal in the height of the summer,’ said Cllr Hayes, who suggested ‘breaking up the tendering process or going back to a full Council meeting to request more funding.’