ROADSIDE MEMORIALS: Families must apply for permission from Council

15 January 2021
By Bryan Smyth

Local Authorities – which can be City Councils or County Councils are made up of people – and these people have sympathy with families erecting memorials to road victims.
Generally speaking, in Ireland, before you built or erect something you need two things: 1) Permission from the landowner 2) Planning Permission (unless it is a smaller exempted development). A local authority is both a roads authority (being the landowner of public roads), and a planning authority (having the task of issuing planning permissions) so if anyone was going to have a policy on the erection of memorials on public roads it would be a Local Authority.
Public roads are fast-moving and busy places. Any distractions to present-day drivers can be dangerous, yet there is also a need to remember the past. A new policy in County Cork wants to strike a balance.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley, explained the new policy which Cork County Council has adopted in relation to roadside memorials

“The aim of this policy is to ensure our public roads are kept safe for everyone, while recognising the wishes of the bereaved to erect Roadside Memorials at accident locations.”

The policy, in general, will not affect existing memorials erected by members of the public. However, should an existing memorial become damaged and/or in need of replacement, the replacement must comply with the new Roadside Memorial Policy.”

Cork County Council’s Chief Executive, Tim Lucey, said

“In order to ensure Roadside Memorials are erected with road safety foremost in mind, an application seeking the consent of the Roads Authority, for the erection of any Roadside Memorial, must be submitted in writing to Cork County Council going forward.”

Mayor Linehan Foley added

“All applications will be dealt with in a sympathetic, understanding and sensitive manner, and where and when appropriate, staff will liaise directly with those wishing to place memorials along the roadside.”

Details of the policy and application form are available on

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