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Gravestone sculptors to face music for burial bye-law breaches

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Monumental sculptors to face music for burial bye-law breaches


Ciara Galvin


MONUMENTAL sculptors could face prosecution by Mayo County Council if they are found in breach of burial bye-laws in relation to the height and style of gravestones.
At last week’s meeting of the Environmental Policy and Agriculture Strategic Policy Committee, members heard that on average the Council sell 300 burial plots per year in the county, with approximately one per year presenting a problem in relation to height and design.
The meeting heard that this year alone, three problems have already arisen in relation to gravestones.
The proposed burial bye-laws were on display to to the public since July 31, 2013 and the Council received 19 submissions. County Council Director of Services for the Environment Section Martin Keating said monumental sculptors would get one chance if found of being in breach with the bye-law and could face prosecution if found to be in further breach.
Three amendments that the meeting discussed before the bye-law is put before Mayo County Council were, that an application must be permitted to increase the height of a headstone from the maximum height of 1.4metres to 1.5m from ground level.
The second states that additional adornments would be allowed at the corners of the grave provided they do not exceed 0.45m in height above ground level and do not extend outside the curtilage of the grave.
The final amendment states that where an individual makes an application for a headstone outside the regulations, the decision will be determined by each area Directorate.
The committee passed the adoption of the amendments by a majority of four to three. Chairman of the committee Cllr Peter Flynn said although it could be seen as a ‘nanny state’ the measures were needed in order to ensure respect in graveyards.
The amendment’s will now be considered at a full meeting of Mayo County Council where they are expected to get a mixed reception.

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