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High cost of new cemetery plots

Monday, 29th February, 2016 11:33am

High cost of new cemetery plots

A view of the new Dunshaughlin regional cemetery.

The new regional cemetery for Dunshaughlin and surrounds is finally ready to open next month - but the cost for burials in the new graveyard is set to soar when the 800-space Derrockstown Burial Garden is unveiled.
The new facility, which has seen a Meath County Council investment of €800,000, will be shown to undertakers and other interested parties in early March.
However, the cost of a plot in the new cemetery will see a huge addition to funeral costs - with a single plot available at €800 and a double for €1,600. This compares will an average price of €400 for a single plot in many parish graveyards.
With many cemeteries in the area filling up due to an increase in the population around south-east Meath in past decades, the need for a major new cemetery has become apparent. Dunshaughlin cemetery itself is full and graveyards in surrounding villages are close to capacity.
With some parishes no longer in a position to provide burial grounds, and the council obliged to provide them, the location at Derrockstown, beside the M3 motorway and opposite Dunshaughlin Workhouse, was identified a number of years back.
However, families who will need to avail of the facility will see the cost of a plot double compared to what a typical parish plot in the region would cost. Most parishes will look for between €300 to €500 for a burial plot, with an average of €400. A double plot in a local authority cemetery around Navan is around €1,400 while the local authority cemetery, St Declan’s in Ashbourne, is already charging the prices now being sought at Dunshaughlin.
Local councillors were brought on a familiarisation trip to the cemetery recently by council officials.
Dunshaughlin councillor Gerry O’Connor said people have already been asking him about booking a plot, but said they cannot be pre-booked.
Facilities include ample parking, bins, park benches, lighting, a service house and a raised location for Cemetery Sundays and other religious and non-religious events, and the burial garden will also cater for the interment of ashes. A caretaker will look after the cemetery, and the council will look after the cutting of grass, Cllr O’Connor explained. Plinths are already in place to allow for the erection of headstones.
In 2011, the county council began a major survey of burial grounds across the county, and also studied the projected needs for the county for the next 30 years. The council’s Special Policy Committee on the Environment has drawn up a list of headings which officials are drafting into a future policy on cemetery provision.
The study was based on the electoral areas in place before the last local elections. The Slane electoral area will have a burial need of over 11,000 over the next 30 years, with just 5,750 available plots. Dunshaughlin - which would have included Ashbourne, Ratoath, and Dunboyne - will see a demand for 14,000 burials, with capacity for just under 8,000.
Navan has adequate coverage for its projected 5,700 plot requirements, and the Kells area will need 8,400 and has 12,674 available plots across north Meath parishes. Trim electoral area will need 9,306 and has 7,260 plots available.
Dunboyne has not yet resolved the issue of its shortage of cemetery space, with the lands surrounding the existing cemetery deemed unsuitable, and locals against the idea of being buried outside of their own parish.

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