DCC give the atheists to the Prods

It appears it is not easy to find a grave for an atheist in Donegal. There is no municipal graveyard and Roy Greenslade had been informed that a religious service would be required to use the various church graveyards (although this advice may have been mistaken). So instead his atheist mother’s remains were brought across the border and buried in Londonderry. Derry City Council has different designated areas for different religions within its graveyards but none for atheists, when asked where she would be placed a graveyard official said:

“…we’re putting her in with the Protestants.”

  • Suilven

    The crux of the matter is in the last line:
    “Dick Spicer of the Humanist Association of Ireland expressed amazement that there was a county in Ireland which did not have a municipal graveyard.”

    Indeed.

    I have some sympathy for the churches involved; why should it fall to them to find house (or grave) room for someone whose beliefs meant that the person wanted nothing to do with them in their lifetime? And what’s wrong with a good atheist cremation anyway?

    All that said, Derry CC need to have a good hard look at themselves regarding their graveyard policy.

  • Jack Cade

    “why should it fall to them”-
    It really should be a matter for the state to provide form them. Cradle to grave, and all that.

  • Dec

    I would imagine space is the primary issue here.

  • ggn

    “space”

    Dec, I think there is probably a more reasonable and cost effective suggestion than blasting corpses into space.

    Tell me you arnt a concillor!

  • Dec

    Dec, I think there is probably a more reasonable and cost effective suggestion than blasting corpses into space.

    ggn

    I think a DUP councillor once suggested (earth-based) incinerators…

  • Jack Cade

    The DUP firing up the ovens for athiests?- quelle surprise….

  • Rooster Cogburn

    Still willing to bet it won’t open the ghastly Greenslade’s eyes as to the profoundly sectarian nature of his beloved northern nationalism. (Out of interest, do you think our wonderful Equality Police will get round to looking at Derry City Council’s employment habits and ‘ethos’ its workers are subjected to any time this millennium?)

  • dec

    The DUP firing up the ovens for athiests?- quelle surprise….

    Hmm, not sure it was aimed at atheists.

    Still willing to bet it won’t open the ghastly Greenslade’s eyes as to the profoundly sectarian nature of his beloved northern nationalism.

    Euither that or prudent cemetary plot management.

  • Rory

    I offer this without comment, but do pay particular attention to the words of the travelling salesmen in the opening seconds:

    Keeping on a Western theme I am reminded of a scene from Peckinpah’s Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid where, after Billy has escaped from jail and shot down Crazy Bob in the street, Garrett tells the townsfolk to, “Git ol’ Bob offa the ground and git him into it”.

    I can’t find the clip but it follows on shortly after this scene.

  • Harry Flashman

    ‘All that said, Derry CC need to have a good hard look at themselves regarding their graveyard policy.’

    Did I misunderstand the situation? Was not the lady buried in Derry’s non-religious, municipal cemetery?

  • fair_dea

    “Was not the lady buried in Derry’s non-religious, municipal cemetery”

    No she was buried in the Protestant section of the municipal cemetery

  • joePuke

    “No she was buried in the Protestant section of the municipal cemetery”

    Have you a problem with that? Presumably there is little space in the Fenian end and we can’t have an ‘integrated’ cemetery lest the Papists spill their ‘Holy’ water over those of good Protestant folk during their annual ‘Blessing of the Graves’ like they do in Newtownabbey.

  • I was only talking last week with my son about this, when we visited his maternal great grandmothers grave. It is a beautiful spot and I would like to be buried there, as I am not keen on these massive municipal grave yards. Sadly I said it is not to be as I’m an atheist so they will not let me in. He replied no bother, we will not tell them and if the ask I will lie, the bastards have been bullshitting for 2000 years.

  • Harry Flashman

    Is there a “protestant” area of Derry’s municipal cemetery? That is certainly news to me.

  • fair_deal

    HF

    “Is there a “protestant” area of Derry’s municipal cemetery?”

    According to the comment attributed to a Council official, yes (as well as Catholic and Muslim sections).

  • Big Maggie

    Mick Hall

    He replied no bother, we will not tell them and if the ask I will lie, the bastards have been bullshitting for 2000 years.

    LOL I like that! Mind you, two wrongs etc

  • Harry Flashman

    I didn’t know that, the protestant and muslim sections must be very small indeed. What about the Sikhs and the Buddhists?

  • Rory

    Harry,

    I think that what you may have missed is that there seems to be no specific accomodation in Donegal and Derry for people who simply happen to find themselves … dead!

  • fair_deal

    HF

    Only three get a mention in the attributed comments

  • Mr E Mann

    >we can’t have an ‘integrated’ cemetery

    so much for a shared future

  • Rory

    The final assertion of human religiousity;

    Divided in life – Divided in death.

    “…and God bless us all”

    I would recommend to all to read the small beautiful book of essays on life and death by the Irish- American undertaker, from a family of undertakers, and poet, Thomas Lynch, that has the title The Undertaking.

    Make of it what you will.

    “…the dead don’t care” says Kinsella, but, “…the living, bound by their adverbs and their actuarials, still do. Now, there is the difference and why I am in business The living are careful and oftentimes caring. The dead are careless, or maybe it’s care-less. Either way, they don’t care. These are unremarkable and verifiable truths”.

    He goes on:

    “My former mother-in law, herself an unremarkable and verifiable truth, was always fond of holding forth with Cagneyesque bravado – to wit: ‘When I’m dead just throw me in a box and throw me in a hole.’ But whenever I would remind her that we did substantially that with everyone, the woman would grow sullen and a little cranky.”

  • TAFKABO

    If someone suggested that a catholic needed to go through a protestant religious ceremony in order to be buried, or vice versa, there’d be an uproar.

    How can anyone seriously try and claim that Ireland is a secular country?

  • Kieran

    I think that you are all missing the point here. If the Catholics in Donegal can bury their own dead and the Protestants can do the same, surely it’s time the Atheist Church got its act together and looked after its own.

  • Shore Road Resident

    The point you’re all missing is that this story is bollocks, as confirmed today by every church and council contacted by every newspaper that followed it up.
    It should have been obvious enough. As a source, Greenslade is not exactly… reliable. In this instance, he appears to have set the facts aside for a patronising piece of cod oirishry, which should give his republican friends pause for thought next time he comes bounding up to them like a eager puppy.

  • Jack Cade

    Shore Road Resident- Can you provide a link of one of to one of these papers websites?
    Thanks

  • Good shout Kieran :0)

  • Irishandproud

    The title of the section is sectarian to refer to people from one of the reformed churches as prods is as bad as people refering to catholics as taig.

  • Donegal Mystified

    I believe Mrs Greenslade did attend church in Donegal when she first moved there and her service was attended, I understand from local chat, by a Parish Priest and a former Church of Ireland Rector who as churchmen were probably more magnanimous about her than her son was about the church and could have accommodated a burial in Donegal if recent reports are true.

    Alternatively, it was claimed that Mrs Greenslade was a committed Republican like Roy and since his branch is the Marxist wing then there should have been no problem in a burial in a Catholic churchyard as many an IRA volunteer has been committed over the years without any complaint – or did they know they were supporting the Marxist cause not too sure now are we.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Is there a “protestant” area of Derry’s municipal cemetery? That is certainly news to me.”

    certainly is Harry.It’s down the bottom as you come in from the Brandywell. Themmuns are up on the hill- with a better view, and they can see the Derry City matches for free- only fair, since they believe in purgatory…

    I’m assuming the separate bits relate to what counts as consecrated ground. In my local town a municipal cemetery was created about 20 years ago, and the priest consecrated the RC section separately after some joint dedication ceremony from all local clergy. Presumably us poor Prods get the heretical section- though at least there’s no undeground wall like in Belfast to stop the worms taking digested bits of the heretics into sacred ground

    There is an excellent book on the city cemetery, listing the more interesting “inhabitants” published about a decade ago,but I can’t recall the details

  • Seimi

    If it’s Belfast City Cemetery you mean Darth, Tom Hartley’s ‘Written In Stone’ is very good. Though it’s only a few years old.

  • Greenflag

    The ‘graveyard ‘ nonsense goes back a long way as we can see from this brief info -hist.

    Glasnevin Cemetery, the largest cemetery in Ireland, first opened its gates in 1832 after a series of events prompted Daniel O’Connell to establish a burial place for the Catholic nation of Ireland.

    Prior to the establishment of the Glasnevin Cemetery, Irish Catholics had no cemeteries of their own in which to bury their dead and as the repressive Penal Laws (enforced on the Irish since the 17th century by the British) placed heavy restrictions on the public performance of Catholic services, it had become normal practice for Catholics to conduct a limited version of their own funeral services in Protestant cemeteries ( which Dublin Protestants mostly turned a blind eye to ) .

    This practice continued until an incident at a funeral held in Dublin provoked public outcry when a Protestant sexton reprimanded a Catholic priest for proceeding to perform a limited version of a funeral mass. This event was the final blow to the humiliation of the Catholic population.

    The outcry prompted Daniel O’Connell, champion of Catholic rights, to launch a campaign and prepare a legal opinion proving that there was actually no law passed forbidding praying for a dead Catholic in a graveyard. O’Connell pushed for the opening of a burial ground in which both Irish Catholics and Protestants could give their dead dignified burial.

    With the passing of the ‘Act of Easement of Burial Bills’ in 1824, a committee was formed to administrate the proposed cemetery. A small plot of land had been acquired for this purpose at Goldenbridge, Dublin but soon proved insufficient. After some investigation, a second site amounting to nine acres, was bought at Glasnevin – to be named Prospect Cemetery. The land was consecrated by Monsignor Yore in September 1831.

    Glasnevin Cemetery, as it is now known, is the final resting place for one and a half million men, women , and children, protestants, catholics , revolutionaries , emancipators and even a Virginian – Thomas Addison Emmet a grand nephew of Robert Emmet who has a large monumnet close to O’Connell . Roger Casement remains at rest nearby and there have been no calls for his disinterment because of his ‘reformist ‘ religion SFAIK.

    Several moths ago I had reason to attend a funeral at Glasnevin for the first time in 10 years . I was taken aback by the new crematoria walls and shocked to see even memorials engraved on granite benches . Just inside the front gate I saw one bench dedicated to the memory of one ‘Peter Robinson’ ( no alas not the DUP leader :)located in the shadow of O’Connell’s Monument. On the way to the grave of a deceased friend I noticed some new graves with names that to judge from the multiplicity of z’s, y’s , k’s must have been polish.

    As I made my way along with the cortege I remembered the old song which as boy scouts would sing aloud particularly when passing a group of ould ‘women ‘ on their way home from church ‘

    ‘The worms crawl in
    The worms crawl out
    They crawl in thin
    And they crawl out stout
    Yo Ho Yo Ho
    Yo Ho Yo Ho
    How happy we will be ‘

    No sense of decorum or sensitivity I’m tellin ye !

  • Greenflag

    darth rumsfeld ,

    ‘though at least there’s no undeground wall like in Belfast to stop the worms taking digested bits of the heretics into sacred ground ‘

    LOL now that’s funny 🙂 assuming it’s true ?

    With Walls above
    And Walls below
    The dead of Belfast
    Have nowhere to go
    Some to Heaven
    And some to Hell
    Most in Purgatory
    With none in Limbo

    ( Limbo was abolished a few years back by some committee who were reliably informed that there the place was full to the brim with jamaican dancers 🙂

  • fair_deal

    “LOL now that’s funny 🙂 assuming it’s true ?”

    It is true. There is correspondence about both the requirement for an underground wall and a debate about how deep it had to be.

  • Greenflag

    Fair Deal ,

    I believe you :(. I haven’t come across anything so barking mad in a long time . I suppose there is a sicko logic -sectarian division in life leading inextricably to to sectarian decomposition in death all for the good of their separate immortal souls and the need to keep these people apart so that on resurrection day they won’t spoil the Heavenly Party by bating the bejasus out of each other and bringing the province into eternal disrepute ?

    Just as well these ignoramuses are on their way to self imposed and directed extinction from Irish society . And you say not just a wall but also debate ? Truly mad . I suppose the nuttier ones might have believed naw even they can’t be that thick -that the buried dead would try to kill each other in the afterlife if there was’nt a wall to separate them ?

    GUBU

  • Big Maggie

    I recall Billy Connolly touching on this in a sort of “tour” he did of Northern Ireland. I thought at the time it was Billy simply being Billy, now I know better.

  • fair_deal

    Greenflag

    “I believe you :(. I haven’t come across anything so barking mad in a long time .”

    To be fair the debate did take place in the 1860’s.