Mayo man who will be buried on own land bequeaths it to public

A 78-year-old Co Mayo man who received a prolonged planning battle to be buried in a personal burial plot on his personal land has now bequeathed his 37-acre holding for neighborhood and leisure functions.

“All of my arrangements for the hereafter have been finalised,” Martin Neary, who lives at Madogue, Swinford, mentioned on Thursday night.

The former migrant employee, who spent years working in England, was talking prematurely of a ceremony on his holding on Friday when Pippa Hackett, Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, formally opens what can be recognized in perpetuity because the Martin Neary Woodland Park.

It has all the time been the intention of Mr Neary, a single man with no subsequent of kin, to donate his land for philanthropic functions.

He mentioned he had been decided that the farm he inherited from his late dad and mom, Martin and Elizabeth (Bessie) by no means be offered or redeveloped or used for grazing livestock. With the help of Mayo County Council and the Western Forestry Co-Op, Mr Neary has been capable of realise his imaginative and prescient of a woodland oasis which embraces sustainability and celebrates historical past and tradition.

An Bord Pleanála

He is one among solely three individuals in Ireland who has been granted planning permission to be buried on his personal land.

The preliminary software to Mayo County Council was turned down. However, that call was overturned on enchantment to An Bord Pleanála.

Martin Neary (78) in the woodland park he has created beside his home in Mullenmadoge, Charlestown, Co Mayo. He has permission to be buried there when he dies. Photograph: Conor McKeown
Martin Neary (78) within the woodland park he has created beside his residence in Mullenmadoge, Charlestown, Co Mayo. He has permission to be buried there when he dies. Photograph: Conor McKeown

He defined that one of many causes given for refusal by the council was that permission for such burial would set a precedent. The native authority additionally highlighted the necessity to shield water provides from air pollution sources.

“They reckoned I would poison the water,” Mr Neary commented. Jokingly, he added, “I’m solely about 10 stone. I don’t assume I’d trigger a lot air pollution.

“Anyway, when you come to think of it, thousands of tons of slurry goes out every year on the land.”

An Bord Pleanála determined that the positioning for the proposed grave was far sufficient away from water sources as to not pose any environmental menace.

In her determination, An Bord Pleanála inspector Lorraine Dockery mentioned Mr Neary’s enchantment was unlikely to set a precedent. She mentioned Mr Neary’s want to be buried on his land did “not raise any issues of principle”.

Burial plot

“I can understand the need for concern with regards to setting of precedent within large, urban areas,” she mentioned.

“However, in this instance, the application is for a single plot within a rural, agricultural area where there is no evidence of widespread demand for such facilities. The proposal is therefore considered acceptable in principle, subject to compliance with all relevant criteria.”

Ms Dockery mentioned that the affect of a decomposing physique on groundwater “would be limited”.

She additionally discovered that the proposed burial plot can be a enough distance from dwellings and posed no points in relation to visitors security, wells and the water provide infrastructure.

As a lifelong atheist with “no interest in religion”, Mr Neary mentioned he had no want to be buried within the conventional place of “consecrated ground”.

A flagstone has already been erected on the spot the place Mr Neary has chosen for his interment.

The stays of a beloved sheepdog, Van Gogh, have already been interred close by. “It will be nice to be buried close to a cherished friend,” Mr Neary mentioned.

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