Re: Re: shannon new town, co. clare

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Plans for Shannon crematorium are approved (Limerick Leader)

Published Date: 18 March 2009

By Anne Sheridan

AN Bord Pleanala have approved plans to build the first crematorium in the west of Ireland – in Shannon – despite the recommendation of its own inspector.

The €1 million plan by Illaunamanagh Ltd was strongly opposed throughout the planning process by Gerry Flynn, mayor of Shannon, and residents, but supported by a local priest.

The development received planning permission from Clare County Council, subject to 17 conditions, in December 2007, but was appealed to the national planning authority by four objectors.

Mayor Flynn had argued that the development is contrary to the guidelines for the protection of green areas and areas of conservation, and also questioned the impartiality of the decision made by the local authority.

Nearby residents expressed concern over the health, safety and amenity impacts the development could have.

The heritage body An Taisce also made observations to An Bord Pleanala, stating that the traffic impacts of this regional facility have not been adequately assessed.

In responding to their concerns, the developers stated that cremations will not exceed four per day initially, and argued “the question is not whether this is the most appropriate site, but whether the proposed development is acceptable.”

An Bord Pleanala’s inspector argued that the board should overturn Clare County Council’s decision, due to the “cramped form of development,” among other concerns.

However, in deciding not to accept the inspector’s recommendation to refuse planning, the board ruled that the crematorium would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or property in the vicinity.

Last year, the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael groups at Clare County Council overwhelmingly voted in favour to contravene the South Clare Plan to back the proposal.
The two directors of the company, Illaunamanagh Ltd, are former members of Clare County Council, Seán Hillery and funeral director Tony McMahon.

Mr Hillery remains a member of Shannon Town Council. It is now expected that work will get under way “in late-spring early summer”.
Mr Flynn said the inspector’s report recommending refusal justified the concerns he had in opposing the plan.

However, a local priest Fr Tom Ryan was supportive of the plans due to the lack of graves in the cemetery at Illaunmanagh, where the crematorium will now also be based.

“We need the crematorium. If we look 10 or 20 years into the future, it offers an alternative to the more traditional burial,” he said.
The Catholic Church had opposed cremation in the past, Fr Ryan acknowledged. “It would have been seen back then as anti-resurrection but the Church understanding has since evolved.”

The crematorium design as building is pretty much functional. One would be forgiven to mistake it for a garage attached to the chapel.

I wonder are urns placed in the remembrance wall, somewhat like graveyards in Italy?

Still though a much needed facility for the Mid-West

Drawing upper half, chapel with covered walkway to crematorium and lower half, chapel with remembrance wall.

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