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Council closes cemetery car park due to 'staffing issues' and anti-social behaviour

The decision has been met with anger from visitors who said there is not enough parking along the street.

FINGAL COUNTY COUNCIL has decided to go ahead with plans to close the car park in Mulhuddart Cemetery in the evenings and all day Sunday, despite opposition from visitors.

The council said it was closing vehicular access to “reduce the level of littering, flytipping, vandalism and anti-social behavior taking place within the cemetery outside of normal working hours”.

It also said that, due to “staffing issues”, access will remain closed in Sundays.

The new arrangements were met with anger from those visiting the cemetery who have called on the county manager to reverse the decision.

A Facebook page urging the council to keep parking open on Sundays, when there is a high volume of visitors, set up by Sinn Féin’s Paul Donnelly has over 1,000 likes. Donnelly also arranged silent protest at the weekend which he said was attended by up to 80 people.

He told TheJournal.ie that the decision was “very strange and unacceptable”. “We don’t have a problem with it being closed in the evenings, people are not really going up there at those times because it’s quite isolated so that’s not really a problem but Sunday is a huge problem for people.”

Donnelly said he did not accept the council’s reasoning about the closure of the car park on one of the busiest days of the week.

“We have parks and playgrounds all over the area that have to be opened and closed on a Sunday so why should this be any different?” he said. “There would be about a hundred people visiting on a Sunday and it’s a very busy dangerous road with just a few parking spots.”

The Sinn Féin representative said the move will cause significant difficulties for the many elderly and disabled people who have loved ones buried in the graveyard.

“”There just isn’t the space for a mobility van to park or for people who are in wheelchairs to have the space to get in and out on that road,” he said. “At the end of the day, there is a car park there and the council are there to provide a service.”

The council said adequate parking is available in the parking bay on Church Road for persons wishing to visit the cemetery outside of peak times. It also said that arrangements will be made to facilitate Cemetery Sunday and blessing of grave ceremonies.

However the Sunday closures will start this week which Donnelly said is “very upsetting” as Mothers’ Day is one of the busiest days for cemeteries. He urged the council to at least postpone the move until after this weekend.

Read: Hidden Ireland: The capital’s oldest graveyard>

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