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Burial grounds

Burial Ground Bye-Laws 2015 – County Clare

The Burial Ground Bye-Laws 2015, which have been prepared in accordance with Section 199 of the Local Government Act 2001, were the subject of countywide public consultation ahead of their consideration by Council Members.

The Bye-Laws contain 39 clauses including definitions that deal with various matters relating to the management and control of burial grounds, including the allocation, size and purchase of burial plots, the recording of burials, the maintenance of a Register of burials, and the requirements regarding headstones and monuments, as well the depth of burials and first interments.  The Bye-Laws also cover the sale of goods, recording equipment, parking, health and safety, regulations and penalties for contravention of the approved regulations.

Application to erect headstones and memorials

The maximum height of a headstone should not exceed 1.5 metres or 59 inches or 4ft 11 inches or 1.64 yards. Caretaker or registrar will report any instances where this maximum height is exceeded and appropriate action will be taken. No work is to be carried out on the erection of a headstone during funeral times. Please respect this request. The person authorised to erect a headstone will be responsible for any damage caused while the work is in progress. This person must also ensure that any surplus soil or rubble be removed from the area in order to leave the area in a tidy condition. Building debris is not to be dumped in or near the cemetery. It must be disposed of appropriately. Headstones must be erected on the concrete plinth provided in the burial ground. In the absence of a plinth, headstone must be aligned with existing headstones.

To apply for permission to erect a monument in a burial ground situated in this county, complete the particulars required on the form below and return to:

Tourism and Community Development Section, 
Clare County Council, 
New Road, 
Co. Clare

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Double plots measure 2.75 metres (9 feet) in length and 2.5 metres (8 feet 2 inches) in width. The exact position of each grave space shall be agreed with the caretaker/registrar who will ensure that the graves are allocated in accordance with the layout map for the burial ground. No grave space shall be opened without prior notification to the caretaker/registrar or to the council. Details of the person to be interred must be provided. Regarding lawn style cemeteries, no kerbing is allowed around a grave. No outer perimeter of any kind is to be put around a grave, nor are stones, pebbles or any other materials to be used to in-fill the surface of the grave. Where kerbing is allowed, the kerbing must not exceed a height restriction of 200mm (8 inches). No remains shall be removed from a grave without first having applied for and obtained an Exhumation Licence from Clare County Council and then only in full compliance with conditions as are prescribed in the exhumation licence and in the presence of relevant officials.

Dumping is strictly prohibited in all burial grounds. When carrying out improvements to a grave, please ensure that you bring all decayed flowers, wreaths, plastic wrapping etc. home with you or place in litter bins, if provided. High standards of maintenance must be maintained at all times.

Funeral undertakers/Monumental sculptors

Please ensure that you obtain permission from the registrar before any works are carried out. Please ensure that after an interment, the grave is properly filled in and neatly finished. Please ensure that all refuse and stones not required for the purpose of a burial or when erecting a headstone are removed from the burial ground. Please ensure that all gates are closed securely when work has been completed and when you are leaving the burial ground.

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Sale of burial plots in advance of a death

Please be advised that Clare County Council does not sell grave spaces in advance of a death. In the event of a death, application for a burial plot must be made to the registrar who shall allocate plots in accordance with the burial ground layout/site plan. The charge for a burial plot shall be as determined by the council and may be varied from time to time.


New Grave Spaces/ Plots are available and can be purchased in 31 burial grounds in County Clare.

Current burial ground fees are detailed in manager's order dated 15th June, 2012, and the cost of grave spaces/ plots in these burial grounds are summarised below:

  • Ballycannon,  Drumcliff, Ennistymon, Illaunmanagh, Lemenagh, Quin, Scariff
    • Single Grave Space: €420
    • Double Grave Space: €735
  • Breaffa, Bridgetown, Clonlea, Carron, Cloonmore, Doonmore, Doolin, Feakle, Killaloe, Killofin, Knockerra, Kilnamona, Killuran, Killeen, Kilshanny, Kilmurry McMahon, Liscannor, Lissycasey, Lisdeen, Moy, Ogonnelloe, Ruan, Shanakyle, Tulla
    • Single Grave Space: €315
    • Double Grave Space: €525

Burial ground registrars and caretakers

For information on burial ground registrars and caretakers please contact (065) 6846222/571.

Exhumation licence

The attached form enables you to make application for a license for the exhumation of the remains of the deceased person.

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Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 29/01/16