Dundalk funeral directors' hit out at 'lawned cemetery' approach at Dowdallshill
Local funeral directors Quinn's Funeral Homes have stated that the use of lawned graves at St Patrick's Cemetery in Dundalk has not worked since its introduction 26 years ago.
Speaking after the Blessing of the Graves event on Sunday, Quinn's added: "we as a community have to admit when something isn't working and address the wishes of families."
In a statement issued to the Democrat, Quinn's said they had spoken to local families on this topic:
"We have to admit that the lawned graves sections, with no kerbs identifying the grave space, hasn't worked in this cemetery. Indeed, it hasn't worked in almost every large cemetery.
"There were reasons for its introduction 26 years ago- ease of access for mechanical excavators, removal of kerbs as trip hazards, uniformity of surface, maintenance in future years. These concerns have been rendered irrelevant. New mini and micro excavators can reach any grave in the new format, even if it were kerbed.
"The trip hazard is now due to uneven ground where natural settlement of the disturbed soil is a constant challenge for the staff to address. The surface is a hotch potch of turf, peat moss, artificial grass and loose chippings.With burials continuing in these sections for well over a hundred years to come, there will never be a uniformity of surface and ease of maintenance for the exact same number of staff the cemetery had when it was less than half its present area.
"We don't have a memorial company. We don't see financial gain with the reintroduction of kerbs. This will be a decision individual families will make and will budget accordingly for.
"But speaking to families purchasing graves, maintaining graves, trying to protect their graves from being driven on, we have yet to meet anyone satisfied with the present regulation.
"Sometimes, we as a community have to admit when something isn't working and address the wishes of families. The lawned cemetery hasn't worked and will not improve. Its time to let people have their say."