We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

St Mary's Cemetery, Cockhill. Greg Clarke via Flickr/Creative Commons
a grave matter

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.

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?>

Hidden Ireland: The capital’s oldest graveyard>

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.