Families refuse to budge over graveside seats ruling

St Coleman's Cemetry, Lurgan. INLM11-205
St Coleman's Cemetry, Lurgan. INLM11-205

SEVERAL families have refused to remove graveside furniture at St Colman’s Cemetery after being asked to do so by the Parish Priest.

Monsignor Aidan Hamill, Parish Priest at St Peter’s and St Paul’s, has ordered that the paths in the cemetery remain clear at all times, but not everyone has complied with his directions and several seats and benchs are still present in the graveyard.

The ‘MAIL’ spoke to one Lurgan woman, who did not wished to be named, who said the seat by her father’s grave was a necessity.

She said: “My father died about a year ago. We got the seat because my mother isn’t able to stand for long periods. She visits his grave every day and wouldn’t be able to do so if it wasn’t for the seat.”

She added: “The seat is not in the road. You can get a pram or a wheelchair past it.

“The Monsignor has threatened to move the seats, but we’ll not be moving it. Other families have taken steps to bolt theirs down.”

The woman said there were around 10 seats in St Colman’s Cemetery, put there by families who spend long periods in the cemetery, some of them at the gravesides of family members who died at a young age.

She commented: “The Catholic Church has enough problems. Maybe they should concentrate on the big issues instead of petty things like this.”

Monsignor Hamill said he’d issued the plea on several occasions in the church bulletin and confirmed all but three families had removed the offending items from the pathways.

He said: “These seats have only appeared in the last year or so. They aren’t being brought to and from the cemetery. They are being left here permanently. For reasons of health and safety and convenience we have issued guidelines that all paths need to be kept clear.”