Tippeary County Council have issued a statement to provide the clarification in relation to correspondence issued to funeral undertakers regarding the advance payment for fees at the council’s graveyards.
The council has defended the action saying that bad debts are being incurred by Tipperary County Council amounting to a figure in excess of €130,000 at the start of 2021 and also that fees are not being paid in a timely manner. The Council say it is unstainable and that these debts impacts on the Council’s capacity to deliver services and develop new cemeteries and to carry out upgrade works.
It is also unfair to the families and funeral undertakers that do pay for services provided by the Council. The Council has received legal advice in relation to this matter which states that it is necessary to have a legal agreement in place with funeral directors in relation to payment of fees and charges to ensure all undertakings are discharged within a specific period.
The Council states that it does not wish to cause any additional distress to families that are grieving at the time of a bereavement and will continue to engage with funeral directors to deal with these matters. Funeral directors will have the option of providing a service on behalf of their clients that does not involve advance payment of fees and charges for burials if they enter a legal agreement with the Council.
Tipperary County Council has also drafted new Burial Ground Bye Laws for the regulation and control of activities in Council cemeteries which will shortly be put out for public consultation – it is understood that this will also involve the introduction of uniform fees across the county in relation to fees at council graveyards.