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18/09/2021

Councillor calls on Sligo County Council to digitise all burial records

Cllr Thomas Walsh added to Fine Gael election ticket in Sligo-Leitrim

Fine Gael councillor Thomas Walsh

Cllr Thomas Walsh has called on Sligo County Council to convert burial records in the county to a digital format, facilitating improved cemetery management and facilitating public access to cemetery records.

Cllr Walsh said “Sligo County Council and its predecessor have had responsibility for maintaining burial records since a parliamentary Act in 1889.  This includes recording location of burial plot, grave location and listing of those buried in each grave.  Currently cemetery records in Sligo are paper based.

Cllr Walsh noted that “digitising burial records in Sligo would convert records to a digital format, facilitating improved cemetery management internally and facilitating public access to cemetery records. The solution will also provide undertakers with an improved method of managing their interment operations. Digitisation of the records will also remove the risk of data loss if paper records were to be lost or destroyed.@

Heritage Tourism, he points out, is a major factor in Ireland particularly in Sligo bringing revenue to  local economies "and it is likely with promotion and relatively minor investment to be a major contributor in the future.  Counties such as Clare, Kerry, Westmeath and Cork have all undertaken initiatives in relation to making their records available to the public".

The Fine Gael councillor said that digitising records would have two strands: the public use of cemetery records and also the processing of future applications.

"Funding is available under the Digitisation Scheme in the Department and I call on Sligo County Council to make application for funding to ensure our 60 burial grounds in Sligo have a digital record," he added.

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