Kerry County Council error understood to have led to burial in wrong grave

Radio Kerry understands that Kerry County Council has carried out an exhumation and reburial of remains at John Paul II cemetery in Listowel in recent days.

It’s understood that the work was carried out as a burial took place in the wrong grave due to a council error.

John Paul II cemetery in Listowel was closed to the public on Friday morning while the exhumation and reburial took place.

Officials from the council as well as environmental health officers from the HSE were present.

The legislation governing exhumations in Ireland set out in Section 46 of the Local Government Sanitary Services Act 1948 and the Second Schedule of the Local Government Act, 1994.

The legislation stipulates that an Environmental Health Officer must attend the exhumation to ensure privacy and protect public health.

It also states the remains must be reburied within 48 hours of exhumation.

Radio Kerry understands that the reburial which took place in a different plot occurred immediately after the exhumation and was due to a council error.

It’s also understood that the action was taken after it became clear that the remains had been placed in the incorrect grave.

When contacted by Radio Kerry for comment,  Kerry County Council said at the request of the families involved, it would make no comment on the circumstances surrounding the reburial.

The council also made no comment on what action, if any, is being taken to establish what went wrong in this instance or to review its procedures at the 154 local authority cemeteries in the county.