Community asks that new Kellystown Cemetery includes Muslim plotGary Ibbotson 09 Dec 2021
Fingal County Council is to consider installing a Muslim burial plot in the new Kellystown Cemetery beside Clonsilla in Dublin 15.
The news comes after some local councillors were contacted by local Muslim communities asking that a burial plot be included in the Kellystown Cemetery that is currently being developed.
However, the council says that a review and public consultation of the new Burial Ground bye-laws will be conducted before a decision is made on the matter.
Local Green Party councillor and Deputy Mayor Daniel Whooley says that he received calls from a “local Muslim group asking that a plot be included at Kellystown.”
Whooley, along with Sinn Fein councillor Breda Hanaphy, then tabled individual motions at a recent area committee meeting asking if the council could develop a Muslim plot while Kellystown was being built.
In its reply to Whooley, the council said it was “undergoing a comprehensive review of the Burial Ground Policy at present, which will include public consultation and engagement with stakeholders on the service provided.”
Whooley says that the local authority was “very open” to the idea, but “hesitant to make any changes before it goes out to public consultation.”
“But this is not the be all and end all,” he says.
Mahmood Khan, chairman of the Association of Pakistanis Ireland told Northside People that Muslims adhere to certain practices during burials, which influenced their request to the council.
“In the Islamic faith, the body of the deceased must be buried facing a particular direction towards the east and to be buried beside other Muslims. Additionally, there are ceremonial rituals and certain obligations to be met before the burial takes place,” he says.
“Currently, the graveyard at Newcastle is the only graveyard in Dublin that has a dedicated section for the Muslim burials.
“If there is continued growth of Muslim population in the Dublin area and the land in Newcastle will be full in a few years’ time.
However, Fingal County Council says that it has “facilitated multidenominational burials to date, and these have been carried out without any issue.”
A report presented at a recent Blanchardstown-Castleknock Area Committee said that it did not recommend that a reference to multi-denominational burials needs to be included in the revised Burial Ground bye-laws.
“However, it is important that the provision of burial ground services is cognisant of the need to respect the traditions and customs of all denominations and this was the sentiment that was expressed in the survey responses and consultation,” it says.
Whooley say that the introduction of a Muslim burial plot is “about being more inclusive to other communities,”
“There is a growing multicultural background in Dublin 15,” he says.
Kellystown Cemetery is not yet open to the public and work on site has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Other obstacles such as an agreement on the height of gravestones and the number of permitted graves in the cemetery still have to be ironed out, he says.