A site off Ballybeg Drive is being considered for the city’s newest cemetery.

A budget of €2 million has been allocated by the City Council for the development of the new graveyard, on a site close to St Saviour’s Church. A variation to the current Development Plan was proposed at Monday night’s meeting of the local authority, to facilitate the rezoning of lands which will then enable the development.

Rezoning is also planned for an adjacent site (from Residential to Industrial) which will pave the way for a local enterprise centre.

At the meeting, Cllr Seamus Ryan said it was important that any new cemetery would be fully developed and not just an open field. “We must learn by the mistakes made in other areas”, he added. Cllr John Halligan called for proper consultation with the various groups in the area and Cllr Hilary Quinlan recommended a facility similar to Ballygunner cemetery, where just a single headstone is erected over each grave.

Responding to a query from Cllr Davy Cullinane, City Manager Michael Walsh said funding of €450,000 had been secured by the Ballybeg-based Local Economic Development Company towards the construction of the enterprise centre. The Council’s contribution to the initiative would be the land it provided. Given the subsidised location and grant aid assistance, Mr Walsh said there was likely to be a real demand for the centre.

Cllr Cha O’Neill suggested a proportion of the enterprise centre site could be used for a local allotment and asked whether a mortuary was being taken into consideration for the new graveyard, perhaps through a public/ private partnership with a local undertaker.

The matter will come back before the Council in the New Year, at which point public opinion will be sought.