Two families in north Kerry were left "deeply hurt" after an apparent error by Kerry County Council led to a woman being buried in the wrong plot in Listowel's main cemetery.

The woman's body has since been exhumed and reburied in another plot.

In a statement, the council said formal apologies have been issued to both families involved in the incident.

The local authority added that it is "reviewing existing procedures" in the matter.

A person close to both families said they have been left deeply hurt by the way the matter was dealt with by the council.

"They have still not received a written apology," said the person, who did not wish to be named, adding that the incident had added to their grief.

St John Paul II cemetery in Listowel was closed to the public on Friday morning while the exhumation and reburial took place.

Officials from the council as well as environmental health officers from the Health Service Executive were present as required by legislation.

Grave plots are sold only when a death has taken place and it is understood that last March three plots were bought by a family on the death of a woman.

However, when the woman's husband went to visit her grave two weeks ago, he found that the adjoining plot, which he had paid for, had been used for another burial.

It is understood the same plot was sold twice by the council in error.

In a statement, Kerry County Council said that "contact was made and maintained with both of the families affected in this matter from the outset and formal apologies have issued to both families involved, having due regard to the sensitivities involved.

"The council is reviewing existing procedures in this matter."