Grave depths are unique to each cemetery, says Tipperary County Council engineer

A review is being carried out on the guidelines governing the lowering of coffins into graves

Grave depths are unique to each cemetery, says Tipperary County Council engineer

The crucifix statue in Cormac's Cemetery Cashel, the site of recent vandalism

Cllr David Dunne asked if three deceased persons could be included in a two-person grave, and if urns could be included in two-person graves, at the October meeting of Tipperary County Council. 

“It’s a very emotive issue” for many people, who could not afford an extra grave plot, and want to be buried with their relatives, he said.

Senior engineer Rory Boland said that, in relation to the depths of plots, each cemetery and plot has its own unique characteristics.

“The number of burials that can be facilitated would generally go back to the depth of the original burial. This is dictated by the ground conditions, that pertain to that individual graveyard.”

Mr Boland said that in many instances, if the site is not dug deep enough, there would not be capacity for three people. In some burial grounds, there is a rocky foundation underneath that prevents deeper graves. The bye-laws allow urns to be buried in existing plots of two people.

In relation to lowering the coffins into the graves, they are currently examining guidelines with undertakers and service providers. “It's an ongoing process,” he said.

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