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'Eco-graveyard' plots snapped up

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An area that will be developed to allow for burials in Killane, Co Wexford

An area that will be developed to allow for burials in Killane, Co Wexford

An area that will be developed to allow for burials in Killane, Co Wexford

Some 100 people have bought plots in Ireland's first natural graveyard, which is due to open next weekend, it has emerged.

Interest in the 7.5-acre site at Woodbrook House, close to the village of Killane in Co Wexford, has been expressed from people of all ages and from across the south-east, the US and Canada.

An open day will be held next Saturday to provide more details about the scheme, which was granted planning permission during the summer.

Colin McAteer, 34, of The Green Grave Yard Company, said hundreds of people had been requesting information about the eco-friendly venture.

"We had a webpage up on what natural burial was and if anybody was interested they should contact us," he said.

"We kept all their email addresses and we had over 300 on the list."

It emerged in early August that Wexford County Council had granted planning permission for the scheme, which would see conventional marble headstones and concrete surrounds replaced by native Irish trees and small grave markers.

The latter would be no larger than 12in square and be formed from locally carved stone or wood.

Coffins will be allowed, but they must be made from environmentally friendly materials and not be varnished with brass handles or constructed using hard-wood.

A 200m driveway lined with mature chestnut trees will lead up to the site, which lies close to the foot of the Blackstairs Mountains.

PA