The developer of a crematorium in County Galway says that 1,000 funerals from the West of Ireland have gone to Dublin for cremation over the past year.
Kevin Tuohy of BKT Construction hopes to alleviate the trauma for families in the future by having his planned crematorium for Ballinasloe up and running early this year.
Planning permission was granted for the development which is represent an investment of some €3.5 million in the town.
The new crematorium will be constructed at Garbally Demesne and will be the first of its kind in the West of Ireland.
The old Ballinasloe Town Council granted permission to Mr Tuohy of BKT Construction, Conicare, Clostoken for a single-storey crematorium on a greenfield site close to the N6 on the Galway side of the town.
At present people along the western seaboard have to use crematoriums in Cork or Dublin, so the facility is being viewed as being much needed.
The Ballinasloe facility comprises a reflection room, ceremony room, cremator and other ancillary rooms and services as well as a memorial garden and is subject to 14 conditions being complied with.
Mr. Tuohy said that he conducted a survey of 135 funeral directors in the West of Ireland and discovered that around 1,000 bodies were sent from the region for cremation in Dublin.
It will be a major investment in the town of Ballinasloe as well as creating a number of jobs. It will also take pressure off some rural graveyards which are struggling with space at the moment.
Kevin Tuohy told The Connacht Tribune that the crematorium would be up and running next year at the latest. He had already received inquiries from undertakers from Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Galway and Clare about the facilities that he will be providing. There was opposition to the development on the grounds that it would devalue property in the vicinity.
There was even a submission which suggested that the poor oral health in the elderly population would result in toxic omissions.
Those opposed to the development said that dangerous emissions from a crematorium could have a serious impact on local residents of Ballinasloe.
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