Fears for the future of Mount Jerome graveyard where over 200,000 Dubliners are buried.
Since the cemetery at Mount Jerome opened in the last century over two hundred thousand people from various faiths have been buried in the fifty acre cemetery in Harold's Cross Dublin. Now the graveyard faces financial uncertainty and is under threat of closure.
Fine Gael TD Alan Shatter has requested that the General Cemetery Company make the Mount Jerome accounts public. He also asked why it has continued to sell burial plots and enter into legal arrangements to maintain graves when he says it had no intention of doing so. Alan Shatter and the Mount Jerome Company agree that the accounts should not become the subject of public controversy.
Some of the more well known personalities buried in the cemetery include Sir William Wilde, father of Oscar, Thomas Davis, John Millington Synge, and the Guinness family plot. However, space is running out.
Mount Jerome is run by the General Cemetery Company of Dublin which was set up in 1834. Now, the company has run out of money and can not maintain the graveyard. Once the money runs out, they have no means to pay people to look after it.
General Secretary of the Cemetery Company Richard Mallet explains that the company has an obligation to maintain the graves even if the cemetery is closed.
This cemetery is a public park. We can not close it to people who want to gain access. They have the right to visit the graves here and to bury people in plots that they own.
Richard Mallet is hopeful that a public body will assume responsibility for maintaining Mount Jerome.
The company is dependent on revenue from selling new graves but with only around one hundred plots remaining, this resource is running thin. There are eighteen staff employed at the cemetery and they all need to be paid.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 29 August 1984. The reporter is Brian O'Connell.