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Dublin: 10°C Friday 7 May 2021

There needs to be more competition between graveyards, apparently

Today TDs will debate a Bill that seeks to end “non-transparent” behaviour by cemetery authorities.

THE GOVERNMENT IS looking to pass a Bill that will bring about more competition between graveyard authorities.

The Cemetery Management Bill 2013 will be debated in the Dáil this morning.

The Bill looks to introduce a cemeteries regulator in a bid to stamp out “non-transparent” behaviour by cemetery authorities and “promote competition” in the sector.

The document states that some authorities “engage in commercial activity at their own cemeteries in a manner which disadvantages commercial entities in competition with [them]“.

The regulator would be appointed by the Environment Minister of the day, who would also hold the right to remove them from the position if deemed necessary.

The regulator would have a five year term and the option to be re-appointed.

Commercial activities

Under the new rules, each cemetery authority would have to apply for a licence from the regulator. Local and religious authorities would be exempt from this.

The licence could only be issued if the authority meets a number of requirements and doesn’t engage in commercial activities other than internment at its own cemetery, or, if it is a charity, in other places.

Commercial cemetery authorities would be disallowed from charitable status.

To meet the new requirements, each authority must be run by a board of ten people or fewer. Members of the board must be elected annually by trustees of the authority for terms of three years or less and each board member cannot serve for a period longer than nine years.

If a cemetery authority is managed by a trust, it must submit proposals to the High Court that will make it conform to the Act.

You can watch the Dáil debate live from 10 am.

Read: New graveyard rules ban food, drink and ‘inappropriate’ headstones

Read: Hidden Ireland: The capital’s oldest graveyard

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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