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Dublin: 15 °C Saturday 15 August, 2020

New graveyard rules ban food, drink and 'inappropriate' headstones

The parish priest in Buncrana will have final approval on headstones and there are strict guidelines for flowers and plants.

St Mary's Cemetery, Cockhill.
St Mary's Cemetery, Cockhill.
Image: Greg Clarke via Flickr/Creative Commons

TWO GRAVEYARDS IN Buncrana, Co Donegal, are now subject to strict new rules prohibiting the types of gravestones and ornaments on graves and banning food and drink.

The 1989 rules were amended this month to include the new measures for St Mary’s Cemetery, Cockill, and the Sea Cemetery, Desertegney, which are both in the Parish of Buncrana.

Under the rules, no memorial can be erected without the approval of the parish priest, who can refuse to allow any monument considered “inappropriate either in material, workmanship, or location or which might interfere with the general effect or obstruct any principal view of the cemeteries”.

Kerbstones, kneelers, surrounds, fences and stones are no longer allowed and in the amended rules the parish reserves the right to remove them and any headstones which do not comply.

Similarly vases, flowers, plants, trees, ornaments of any description, gravel and kerbstones are not permitted outside the area of the headstone. Flowers are only permitted on the plinth or headstone.

The rules warn that visitors “must observe that the cemeteries are sacred places and act accordingly, avoiding any loud or boisterous talking, loitering on the grounds or in any of the buildings”. It also bans all ‘refreshments’ from the cemetery grounds.

Parish priest Fr John Walsh did not return calls requesting comment.

Poll: Should there be rules about headstones in graveyards?>

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