Island graveyard in Derrynane national park to be extended

Thu, Mar 8, 2012, 00:00

THE WAY has been cleared for the transfer of land on the historic Abbey Island in the Derrynane National Historic Park in Co Kerry to Kerry County Council.

The transfer will allow for an extension of the island graveyard which houses the tombs of the O’Connells in south Kerry, and where for centuries coffins have been carried across a sandspit at low tide.

The island holds the remains of a 10th-century monastery, Aghavore. No new spaces have been available for at least a decade. Interment in existing family graves has continued.

In January this year, part of the ashes of Dr Una O’Connell (nee Scorer), the 85-year old widow of late Harley Street surgeon Dr Daniel O’Connell, a great-great-great-grandson of The Liberator, were interred in the O’Connell family tomb alongside those of her husband.

With many local people having to be buried elsewhere, the extension has been sought for years by the council, and the application for land was made as far back as 1987.

Yesterday, senior executive engineer with Kerry County Council Colm Mangan said the Minister for Finance had confirmed the Office of Public Works could proceed with the transfer to the council.

Planning had been cleared in 2008 and it was now intended to proceed with the extension.