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Memorial Safety Programme

Programme of works

We are beginning a programme of safety checks of headstones and memorials in our cemeteries.
 
This will allow us to identify unstable headstones and memorials which are at risk of toppling or breaking. The aim of the safety checks is to ensure that our cemeteries are safe places for those who visit them and who work there.


Which cemeteries are being checked?

Memorials in the 5 cemeteries which are currently in use and managed by the Council are being checked. See table below.

Cemetery Safety Checks Scheduled Current Status

Forthill, Cookstown

January 2020

Completed

Drumcoo, Dungannon

January 2020

Completed

Coolhill, Dungannon

January 2020

Completed

Cottagequinn, Dungannon

January 2020

Completed

Polepatrick, Magherafelt

January 2020

Completed

Inspections will then take place in the other 25 cemeteries which are no longer in use but which the Council maintains.  The entire programme is likely to take approximately 3 months to complete.


When are the safety checks being carried out?

A planned programme of memorial safety work began in January 2020 and will continue until March 2020.


What does the safety check involve?

Our staff have been trained to carry out the checks, which are in 2 parts.

  • First of all, staff will carry out a visual inspection.
  • The second check will be a hand test, where our member of staff applies pressure to the memorial to check for movement.

What happens if there is movement in the memorial?

Most memorials won’t move and will be considered safe and stable.
 
Where there is movement in a memorial, our staff will place a discrete sign at the grave which will alert a visitor to the grave that there is an issue with the memorial’s safety.

In some cases, where we believe the memorial presents a significant or immediate risk of toppling, our staff will need to make the memorial safe temporarily by using a system of stakes and bands.
 
In very rare cases, where the memorial is likely to collapse, we may need to lay the memorial flat.


Who is responsible for making a memorial safe?

The person who ‘owns’ the grave (the person who holds the deeds to the grave) is responsible for making a memorial safe.
 
We will write to the memorial owner to let them know that a memorial is unsafe or unstable, and advise them to contact a qualified stonemason or memorial sculptor to make repairs.


Who can I contact about the memorial safety checks?

If you would like further detail on the safety check programme and how you may be affected, please contact:
 
Eunan Murray
Grounds and Cemeteries Manager
Telephone: 03000 123 132
eunan.murray@midulstercouncil.org

Memorial Safety

Where there is movement in a memorial, our staff will place a discrete sign at the grave which will alert a visitor to the grave that there is an issue with the memorial’s safety.



In some cases, where we believe the memorial presents a significant or immediate risk of toppling, our staff will need to make the memorial safe temporarily by using a system of stakes and bands (as pictured below).

Memorial Safety

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