By Jimmy Rhatigan
A LOCAL burial ground must be looking forward to a short back and sides before its annual Cemetery Mass.
When The Reporter visited the cemetery during the week with local boxing legend Jimmy Walsh we discovered a meadow of almost knee-high grass interspersed with dandelions and daisies.
Someone suggested that the burial grounds, home to the remains of loved ones from hundreds of local families, needed a short back and sides, language that would be more suited to a tonsorial artist or more practically, a barber.
We disagreed and proffered that a crew cut would be more appropriate.
Jimmy was in Kilbride Cemetery at the heart of Callan to visit the immaculately kept grave of his beloved wife, Stella who passed away in 1984.
He was disappointed to see the grass so high and said that a majority of families who had graves in Kilbride kept their plots neat and tidy and deserved better than swarths of grass and weeds.
However, he pointed out that it was Kilkenny County Council that usually cuts the grass in the cemetery and he was reluctant to be critical because the inclement weather of recent weeks meant that it would have been next door to impossible to cut any crop.
However, he is looking forward to the arrival of the cutting machinery before the annual Cemetery Mass in July.
“To be fair to our council, it is usually on the ball when it comes to keeping our cemetery right and they really pull out all the stops to show their respect for the resting place of so many of our Callan relatives, neighbours and friends who have gone before us as they prepare the graveyard for collective prayers for loved ones,” he told The Reporter.
“We can trust the council to ensure that people won’t have to kneel down in high grass, risking the possibility of getting lost,” he joked.
Jimmy said he would love to see a workman or woman permanently in place to look after Kilbride and St Mary’s Cemeteries in Callan.
He added that he believed it would be reasonably within the wherewithal of one or two workers to keep the cemetery clean after a council makeover.