Public Meeting In Birr About Clonoghill Cemetery Neglect

Thursday, 1 June 2017

THE public are invited to a meeting about the lack of a Caretaker scheme in Clonoghill Cemetery this Wednesday evening.

The meeting will start at 8.30p.m. and everyone is invited to come to the Marian Hall to express their views on the matter and to see if they can find a sustainable solution for the long term future of the cemetery. 

At the moment Clonoghill Cemetery is showing the signs of months of neglect with uncut grass and weeds.

Cllr John Carroll told the Midland Tribune for many years the Town Council oversaw the upkeep of the graveyards. This came to an end 13 years ago and a Community Employment Scheme took over. Under this scheme eight people were employed throughout Offaly to look after the county's graveyards.

 Last year the CE scheme was cut and hasn't been replaced since, leading to the neglect of a number of cemeteries throughout the county including Clonoghill.

Cllr Carroll said some graveyards in the county are looked after by Parish Councils. However, he feels that Clonoghill would be better served if the local authority hires a contractor to take care of its upkeep.

There will be a public clean-up of Clonoghill this Saturday from 2p.m. to 6p.m. Cllr Seán Maher welcomed this and praised those who are organising the clean-up. 'This is a one-off event. In the future I would like to see the County Council employing staff full-time to care for all the cemeteries in Offaly. Unfortunately when the budget was set out for 2017 there was no provision for recruitment this year. I certainly will be looking for funding for Clonoghill and other cemeteries.'

The organisers of Saturday's clean up say if you can spare a few hours next Saturday then you will need the following: A smile on your face; a rake, spade or shovel; a strimmer or lawnmower; black rubbish bags; protective clothing etc. If you have none of the above just bring yourself.

A local business is sponsoring fuel for your machines. A local construction firm will be taking away all the grass etc. A local business will ensure participants have nice cold minerals. Birr Responder Group will be on site. 

The organisers ackowledge that the local council workers around town do a great job but are simply understaffed and the Clonoghill group are in no way trying to take over the situation on a full time basis.

 Please note: This work will not tamper in anyway with any graves. The work will simply tidy the pathways and overgrown grass with the utmost respect.

It will be a family friendly event so please try and come down and help out if even for a short while.

If the weather is bad they will push the event out to a later date but for any info and updates people can check their facebook page .

They are appealing for as many people as possible to come together as a community on Saturday from 2-6p.m. for as little or as much time that you can stay.


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