North Tipperary County Council has been warned that bodies may have to be exhumed from Littleton graveyard because of flooding. The warning was given despite county manager Joe MacGrath telling councillors this Monday that the council would give the issue “the urgency it deserves”.
His response angered Cllr John Hogan who warned that if the council did not take responsibility for the flooding, people with relatives buried there may seek to have them exhumed and buried elsewhere.
“It flooded four years ago. The council has to resolve it,” said Cllr Hogan.
Up to 100 people attended a meeting at the graveyard this Monday, and, he said, many were distraught. “It has caused a lot of anguish and is very upsetting. We should be ashamed of ourselves,” he declared.
Cllr Hogan asked that the council pay for pumping being done by people who have family graves there.
The flooding predated last Wednesday’s storm, said Cllr Seamus Hanafin, who raised questions about its suitability as a graveyard.
Describing the situation as “appalling”, he said money should come from the development levies to solve the problem.
“It was terrible to see people crying over graves being submerged,” said Cllr Jim Ryan. “People can’t be buried in that graveyard. What will happen if somebody dies over the next while?”
Cllr Micheal Lowry said there was a E15,000 plan with the engineers that could be put in place to pump the water away.
The county manager said the council was committed to identifying the issues, but “until we know what those findings are we don’t know what the funding required will be”.
Cllr Hogan demanded to know if people would be paid compensation for pumping the water out and stated that following flooding four years ago people were “fobbed off”.
The manager pledged the problem would not be forgotten but he could not give a commitment he couldn’t stand over.
Cllr Hanafin said he was happy that the manager had started a process to find a solution and he would accept that.
The issue was also raised by Cllr John Kennedy and Cllr Billy Clancy.