Motion: Councillor D. Smith “That this Committee requests the Council to bring forward a policy for the graveyards in the Swords and Balbriggan wards which would make special allowance for local people with family members, in some cases several generations of family members, already interred in a particular graveyard, to allow them to have some certainty of being buried with their families in their local graveyard.”
Report: Fingal County Council is responsible for the maintenance and management of 34 burial grounds, 26 of which are in the Balbriggan/Swords Operational Area. Of these 26 burial grounds, 14 have plots available for purchase, and the remaining 12 older burial grounds do not have any new graves available, but re-openings and historic pre-purchased plots are facilitated.
The current Council policy states that plots in all burial grounds – Will be available for purchase on death only (no pre-purchase permitted) Only single plots will be available for purchase. The policy makes no provision for limiting who can apply to be buried in a particular burial ground. This policy has been in place since 2008, and was developed as part of a burial ground management programme. The sale of burial plots in advance has caused problems in the past with situations developing where records show there are no available spaces at a burial ground, even though a substantial portion of the burial ground plots would be empty. More importantly, advance sales of significant numbers of plots can result in the need to open up new sections of a burial ground very prematurely, resulting in increased maintenance and other costs.
The current policy of sale on death only ensures that plots are available when required, can be sold in strict rotation and in correct location and orientation and keeps maintenance costs within reason. It should also be recognised that by permitting sale on death only, the Council are ensuring a fair and equitable access to all citizens for council managed burial grounds.