Crosstown cemetery to get new wall to hold cremated remains
Wexford District Council is to build a Columbarium Wall in the grounds of St. Ibar's Cemetery in Crosstown to hold urns containing the ashes of deceased people who have been cremated.
The new facility will have niches with capacity for two urns and will cost €800 per unit, with plans to create a small peaceful garden where people can sit on benches and remember their loved ones.
The proposal which came from Cllr. George Lawlor, was given unanimous approval by councillors at a local authority meeting. District Manager Angela Laffan said more people are opting for cremation over burial and Columbarium Walls are now a common feature in many Council burial grounds throughout the country. It is understood t be the first facility of its kind in County Wexford.
Ms. Laffan said given the increasing demand on available burial grounds, it is an alternative to providing a full grave space for the interment of ashes, which is currently the practice.
'It eliminates the ongoing maintenance required with a traditional grave space and is a more attractive option where the deceased has no family or relatives to tend to the grave after burial', she said.
'It also offers an advantage where the ashes of a deceased person are returned to their homeland from abroad'.
Ms. Laffan said the cost of purchasing a niche in the Columbarium Wall will be significantly less than the cost of buying a grave space, paying for a grave opening for each burial and the additional expense of a headstone and kerbing.
A standard fee of €800 per niche will apply whereas the current cost of a single grave space is €400 plus €400 for each grave opening. The average cost of a headstone and kerbing is in the region of €3,500 to €4,000, resulting in an overall cost of up to €5,000.
There will be terms and conditions attached to the sale and use of niches within the Columbarium Wall. Each niche will have a door and a memorial plaque with an inscriptio and the keys will be kept by the cemetery caretaker. The inscriptions will have to be approved by the Borough Council.
People will not be able to pre-purchase a niche as the units will be allocated on the basis of need after someone has passed away.
The freestanding Columbarium Wall in granite material with a bronze rosette locking system and comprising 20 individual niches, will be installed in Crosstown in the coming weeks. Further walls can be added, depending on demand.
The inscription on the memorial plaque will be limited to the first, middle and last name of the deceased along with the date of birth, if wished and the date of death. The font will be in a standard format specified by the Council. No other inscriptions will be permitted and no photographic images will be allowed on the plaque.
Cllr. Lawlor said it will be a welcome facility in Crosstown, in view of the growing number of people opting for cremation after death and will also benefit people living overseas who would like to be laid to rest in Wexford.