Concern over layout of graves in proposed new extension to Sligo cemetery

There’s concern over the lay-out of grave spaces in a proposed new extension to Sligo cemetery.

It’s been claimed that it will result in people being buried facing north instead of facing east, as is the ancient Christian custom and tradition.

Work on a new extension to Sligo cemetery is expected to start next month and be completed by the end of June.

Yesterday, at a meeting of councillors from Sligo Municipal District, Cllr Declan Bree asked if there was any concern about the proposed layout of grave spaces.

He said he understood plans for the extension proposed that people would be buried facing north.

Fianna Fail Councillor Tom MacSharry said he had written a letter to the council about this, outlining the concern of churches.

Council Director of Services Tom Kilfeather said all the documentation in relation to this was laid out publicly as part of the Part 8 planning process, and there was consultation.

Mr Kilfeather said their understanding was that this was a tradition, it was not a rule or a law.

But he added that the council would look at it to see how it could be addressed . . . or if it could be addressed.

Meanwhile, councillors are also aware of the need for the extension to Sligo cemetery and the problems that could be caused by any delays to the work involved in providing it.

Cllr Bree said even if the churches had no major objection, he feared members of the public might object, and he therefore thought it important the issue is resolved before work begins on the extension.