COUNCILLOR Colm Kelleher has welcomed the news that the erection of headstones which was previously deemed non-essential under current Level 5 restrictions has now been reversed with immediate effect.
The erection of headstones was previously deemed non-essential construction work under current public health guidelines which led to disappointment for grieving families and it also led to an increased backlog in Cork graveyards.
Cllr Kelleher is pleased with the news. “It is very welcome news.
The Fianna Fáil councillor said he was unaware that erecting headstones had been deemed non-essential construction work until it was brought to his attention by a concerned constituent. “I was unaware restrictions were in place with regards to erecting headstones. I checked it out with Cork City Council and they confirmed that it fell under the remit of non-essential construction and it was being enforced nationwide.
“In my opinion, this was a strange interpretation of the rules as the majority of graveyards are in wide-open spaces, and the small crew undertaking these jobs are working outside which ensures the risk of spreading the virus would be very minimal,” he added.
Cllr Kelleher raised the matter with the Taoiseach who relayed the positive news that it is now an essential service and works can recommence immediately. “I contacted the Department of the Taoiseach and they confirmed the restrictions on that particular activity had been lifted as from today. They have now deemed it essential work so work can recommence immediately.
“It is such a sensitive issue as we all have loved ones who have passed away. People find great solace in visiting graveyards. To erect headstones mean so much to people and it gives them peace of mind,” he said.