People often ask us about the team behind The Green Graveyard Company and how they can be sure that the graveyards are secure. We will address these questions separately below.
Image above: Colin Mc Ateer and Niall Deacon at Woodbrook NBG
The Green Graveyard Company
The Green Graveyard Company was formed in 2009 to develop Natural Graveyards in Ireland. It was established by Colin Mc Ateer who has extensive knowledge of the funeral industry through his involvement in a family owned funeral directors in Co. Donegal. Colin is also the driving force behind www.greencoffinsireland.com who are the leading manufacturer and supplier of Green (Eco) coffins in Ireland.
Woodbrook Natural Burial Ground is a partnership with the FitzHerbert family, and is managed by a local team lead by Niall Deacon.
The Green Graveyard Company hope to establish more Natural Burial Grounds in Ireland in coming years.
Will the Natural Burial Ground be around in years to come.
The simple answer to this is yes, we are probably the most secure burial grounds in Ireland.
The easiest way to explain this is by answering the two main questions are asked in this regard
Will the land be used in the future for some other development?
No the grounds will always remain a burial ground.
When applying to operate a graveyard in Ireland you need to secure planning permission from the local county council. You need to secure a change of land use from it’s previous/current use to cemetery provision. Once you secure the planning permission and actually use the grounds for burial purposes it is highly highly unlikely that the council would grant a change of land use again—not that we will be requesting it. In the past ancient graveyards have been moved to allow for vital infrastructural projects—but these are extreme cases and certainly not in the open countryside.
What happen when the grounds are full, how will the graveyard be funded?
A percentage of all incomes received are placed in a secure stand alone fund. The value of this fund increases over time. Once the burial ground has reached capacity this (now significant) fund will pay for the annual upkeep of the grounds. Our Memorial Tree service will also help in this regard.
The council would not have given us planning permission unless we showed them the model we use to develop and secure the burial grounds. It is also worth noting that although we don’t get any government aid to manage the grounds (as a lot of graveyards in Ireland do) the maintenance required for a Natural Burial Ground is significantly less that your traditional (Victorian type) graveyard.