The first ever crematorium in the West of Ireland will be set up in Ballinasloe and it is hoped that it will be up and running early in 2017.
And already there has been considerable interest from local undertakers – which is hardly surprising given that the developer of the crematorium says that 1,000 bodies from the west have been brought to Dublin for cremation over the past year alone.
Planning permission has been granted for the development which will represent an investment of some €3.5 million in the town. It will also create several jobs in the process.
The new crematorium will be constructed at Garbally Demesne and will be the first of its kind in the West of Ireland. It is hoped that construction will commence at the end of July as contractors are already in place.
The old Ballinasloe Town Council granted permission to Kevin Tuohy of BKT Construction 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 has said that the crematorium would be up and running in early 2017 at the latest.
He has already received inquiries from undertakers from Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Galway and Clare about the facilities that he will be providing.
“We will commence construction at the end of July and it will take around eight months to build. It is a much-needed development for the region and we have put a lot of work and research into it.''
“Studies have found that there are a lot of bodies that are being brought from the West of Ireland to Dublin for cremation and we believe that there is a need for such a facility in the region”, Mr Tuohy added.
At the moment meetings of Galway County Council as well as local municipal councils are preoccupied with discussions over the lack of graveyard space throughout the county and the difficulty in acquiring additional lands in which to bury local people.
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