ALL available new burial plots in Carnmoney Cemetery have been used, Antrim and Newtownabbey Council have said.

In 2019, 264 additional plots were made available at the Prince Charles Road site, however these have now been used as of last week.

The local council say they have provision of new burial plots at other graveyards in the Borough.

A spokesperson for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council said: “Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council can confirm that all available new burial plots in Carnmoney Cemetery have been used.

“The cemetery will remain open for visiting and reflection within its normal hours, and it will be regularly maintained by council teams.

“New burial plots are available at other council cemeteries- Ballyclare, Rashee, Crumlin and Sixmile in Antrim. We have provision across the other cemeteries to serve the borough for approximately 16/17 years.

“The council understands the sensitivities regarding this situation, and made considerable efforts to mitigate its impact.

“In 2019 council was able to provide 264 additional plots at Carnmoney however these have now been used. Historically the council has engaged in numerous efforts to secure and purchase additional grounds in the vicinity of the urban part of Newtownabbey without success.”

Alliance Glengormley Alderman Julian McGrath said: “Council looked at the possibility of land in Newtownabbey some years ago but some sites were unsuitable and others were too costly.

“The Modular system in Carnmoney extended the usage there but they are all now full. Other Cemeteries in the Borough are in Ballyclare, Antrim area, Randalstown, Muckamore, Templepatrick and Doagh.”

SDLP councillor Noreen McClelland added: “Understandably this will be upsetting news for constituents who live in the local area. Although burial plots across the borough remain available we know this will be no reassurance for those who wish to be buried in the immediate locality.

“We appreciate this is an extremely sensitive subject, especially during a health pandemic that is unnecessarily costing so many lives. SDLP councillors will continue to work with council officers to see how this issue can be addressed.”