Mayo residents mourning the loss of a love one, or those visiting the graves of family or friends, may soon find themselves “guilty of misconduct” if they use their bicycles to get to the graveside.
Mayo County Council’s proposed graveyard bylaws, if enacted, will ban cycling in graveyards, labelling using the mode of transport as “misconduct”.
The ban on cycling would cover many graveyards in Mayo where it is permitted for motorists to drive around — including larger cemeteries where a round trip from graveside to the main road can be up to 1km.
Here’s the misconduct section of the bylaws, the General Regulations For Burial Grounds in Co Mayo:
11. All persons shall conduct themselves in a decent, quiet and orderly manner while in a Burial Ground and no person shall:-
(a) Wilfully create any disturbance in a Burial Ground.
(b) Commit any nuisance in a Burial Ground.
(c) Wilfully interfere with any burial plot or vault, any tombstone or any other memorial or any plants on any such burial plot.
(d) Play at any game or sport in a Burial Ground.
(e) Ride a bicycle, skateboard or other similar device in a Burial Ground.
(f) Knowingly permit trespass by animals.
(g) Play music other than when permitted at funerals.
(h) Eat or drink any beverages.
(i) Write or deface any monument or headstone.
(j) Deposit any litter.
The Registrar or Caretaker or any agent of the Council shall at all times be entitled and at liberty to remove from the Burial Ground any person who may be guilty of misconduct therein, and to prevent any person from entering the Burial Ground at prohibited times if specified.
We emailed Mayo County Council’s road safety officer questioning the reasons for the move, but we’ve yet to get a response. The council have claimed that the bylaws are based on problems which have arisen in Mayo, as well as issues which have arisen elsewhere and could happen in Mayo.
FULL DISCLOSURE: My family business is headstones.