Donegal priest warns large gaudy headstones face ban

‘We can’t be having headstones in the shape of Transit vans and all sorts,’ says Buncrana priest

In Buncrana, 25-year old rules governing local cemeteries had been revised

In Buncrana, 25-year old rules governing local cemeteries had been revised

Mon, Dec 2, 2013, 07:27


A priest has warned parishioners he may remove large gaudy headstones, statues and trinkets from graves if they do not conform to strict new graveyard rules.

Fr John Walsh, parish priest in Buncrana, Co Donegal, also advised parishioners not to close any deal with monumental sculptors without first obtaining approval from the parish for their chosen memorial.


Transit vans
“We can’t be having headstones in the shape of Transit vans and all sorts. People should check before they spend thousands on the wrong one. It will be a saving for them in the long run,” he said.

He was speaking after locals were yesterday informed that 25-year old rules governing local cemeteries had been revised to account for ever-decreasing capacity and new minimalist American-style lawn graves.

They were also told to respect the sanctity of the cemetery by not eating or drinking or talking loudly within the grounds.

“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, bringing refreshments into the cemeteries or consuming them on the grounds,” said Fr Walsh.


Maximum height
The maximum height of headstones at the parish’s two cemeteries has now been set at 4ft (1.22m) with an exception for Celtic crosses that can rise to 8ft (2.44m).

Double-width graves have been banned in favour of single (8ft x 4ft) graves with a maximum depth for two interments – except where more are requested.