The condition of St. Patrick’s cemetery in Clonmel has become a cause for concern for people with family buried there.
Pat Cashin from College Avenue, Clonmel has criticised what he considers is the lack of proper maintenance of the town’s main cemetery.
“The area near the back gate is in a deplorable state and it shouldn’t be like that. It’s just not right.
I had visitors from America a month ago and I was ashamed to show them the family grave. I was mad over it”, he said.
“This should be a beautiful cemetery that people should be proud to walk through and pray for their deceased relatives and friends”.
Mr. Cashin acknowledged that the grass and bushes were being cut around graves but the clippings hadn’t been removed and were left near the wall.
He said that the beautiful stonework in the wall running alongside the back of the cemetery couldn’t be seen because of overgrowing bushes. He suggested that if the bushes were cut to the same height as the wall it would not only enhance the appearance of that area but would also improve the vision of motorists driving on the road beside Silversprings.
“When a caretaker worked there the cemetery was well maintained but the area near the back wall is very neglected-looking now. Grass is even growing up through the centre of the paths”, he said, while adding that other areas of the cemetery were well maintained.
He acknowledged that the council staff were doing their best but they were over-stretched and he understood they had to work in other areas of the town.
Mr. Cashin’s wife Alice is buried at St. Patrick’s, as are his parents and granduncles James and Maurice Mulcahy, who both fought in the First World War. Other locals who fought and were killed in action during World War I are also interred there.
“These men left Ireland to go and fight for peace in the world. The least their families can expect is that their graves are looked after”, he said.
“Many people with family buried here are elderly and unable to look after the area around the graves”, he added.
Mai Murphy from Cahir said that her brother had stopped the council from cutting the grass around the family grave in St. Patrick’s because the clippings weren’t removed. He now cuts the grass himself and takes away the clippings.
Her parents - Edmond Browne from Ardfinnan and her mother Esther (nee Lambe) from Glenconnor, Clonmel - are buried there, as is her uncle Michael Lambe and his wife Margaret.
A spokesperson for Clonmel and Cahir Municipal District Council said the hedge at the back wall had been cut and the area around Mr. Cashin’s family grave would be tidied.
“When burials arrive at the cemetery they are prioritised”.
The spokesperson added that the area near the back gate was being maintained and would be maintained to the same standard as the rest of the cemetery.