By James Fogarty
The failure to provide a suitable extension at the historicKilbegley Graveyard means that existing plots are being disturbed, furious residents in Moore, South Roscommon, have claimed.
Members of the KilbegleyGraveyard Committee have now accused Roscommon County Council of ignoring the situation at KilbegleyGraveyard, which has been in dire need of an extension, for decades. The site offered by the local authority nearby is totally unsuitable, they warned this week, describing it as a “landfill” of debris from the construction of the M6 motorway.
However a suitable adjacent site is available, they said. Members of the committee told the Roscommon Herald that lack of agreement over a proposed extension to the site meant that existing unmarked graves were in danger of being reopened accidentally. The historical significance of the site as well as the deeply emotional attachment that the community had for the graveyard had, they claimed also been disregarded.
Chairman of the committee, Fergal Greene, explained that they received calls from people who were bereaved, they could have lost a loved one that day, asking them to find a plot. “We then have to go out and get a space, which we hope to the best of our knowledge is empty. This is happening the whole time. We had our first meeting with the council about this in January 2013 but this situation has been going on for the last 30 years.”
Secretary of the committee Paddy Kelly added, “the committee is just made up of parishioners. We do not have the right or the authority to tell people they can’t be buried inKilbegley with their family members. They have an absolute right to do that. In my own case, my great great grandfather right up to my late father are buried there.”
The committee explained that the cemetery, which has three listed sites, has a huge catchment area, serving three-fifths of the parish of Moore.
“This goes from Taughmaconnell to Shannonbridge over even to Creagh,” said Mr Kelly. “Once there were clear distinctions between townlands in the graveyard but that was when there was space. As the graveyard filled up, people just took plots wherever they could.”