Eco-burial an option in Cork, if public demands exist

14 October 2020
By Tom Collins
tom@TheCork.ie

Background: Local Authorities are responsible for graveyards, so any change in practice must begin with your Local City or County Council

The Green Party in Cork has asked officials of Cork City Council to meet with residents seeking an “eco-graveyard” in the city.

The request comes after Cork City Council passed a motion put forward by Green Party councillor, Oliver Moran, on the matter.

An “eco graveyard” allows the deceased to be buried without chemicals and unnecessary markings and where the graveyard itself supports biodiversity through the planting of trees and wildflowers. Cork City Council has said it will set aside an area within existing cemeteries for eco-burial, if demand for such burials develop.

Green Party councillor, Oliver Moran, said there is support for the concept in the city:

“I’m taken aback by the interest and support for the idea, even from people who wouldn’t be natural environmentalists. There’s a genuine interest that in death people would exist at peace with the world and nature. There’s something really moving about that.

“The support from Cork City Council, if there is demand there, is very encouraging. I’ve asked now for a meeting between interested residents and the relevant officials to explore the idea further. An eco-graveyard already exists in Wexford, but it is a privately-run cemetery. If Cork was to develop its own, it would be the first local authority in Ireland to support the option.”

One person who wants to be buried in this way is Blackpool resident, Mark Cronin:

“Eco-graveyards and eco-burial is becoming more of a feature in Britain and the USA. It reflects a growing awareness among people of the lasting damage being done to the environment and biodiversity by human activity.

“Traditional cemeteries contribute to loss of biodiversity and pollute the soils through chemical additives. They become an animal-free area. Even in death, humans can prevent the natural cycle of nature. Eco-graveyards aim to be a natural, peaceful and wooded place, where loved ones are commemorated without hindrance to nature.”

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