5 No 1 March 2008 Online edition
PROPOSED CEMETERY AT
DRUMBEG by Tony Hegarty
Prior to Christmas you will have probably heard in the media that Belfast
City Council was proposing to investigate the possibility of developing
two sites for future cemetery use. The two sites are at Lisleen (at Castlereagh)
and at Nutts Corner. This gave the impression that Belfast City Council
was no longer interested in developing a cemetery at Drumbeg.
Our Committee decided not to issue a circular to the residents until we
had obtained a copy of the relevant minutes from Belfast City Council.
This has happened recently. If you wish to see the minutes of the meeting
they are on the Belfast City Council website - The Parks and Leisure Committee
- Meeting of Thursday 15 November 2007 and the full Council – Monday
3 December 2007.
You will recall that during the summer Belfast City Council wished to
carry out further tests at the Drumbeg B, Lisleen and Nutts Corner Sites.
At a Meeting on 22 May 2007 of the Belfast City Council Special Community
and Recreation Committee it was agreed that a Cemeteries Working Group
be established to "oversee and provide direction on the future burial
provision for the city". Each of the Party Groups was asked to nominate
a member to the working group and the first meeting of the group was scheduled
for 17 October 2007.
At this meeting the key issues were:-
to exclude Hightown
1. to report on the further studies undertaken during the summer.
These looked at the
2. Hydrogeological conditions at Drumbeg, Lisleen and Nutts
The findings were:
1. Drumbeg - unlikely to be suitable.
2. Lisleen - likely to be suitable.
3. Nutts Corner - may be suitable (more tests).
Representatives from Scott Wilson who act on behalf of Belfast City Council
reported on discussions with the Environment and Heritage Service where
they presented the draft report of the hydrogeologist (Black and Veatch).
The Environment and Heritage Service has advised that a Tier 3 Risk Assessment
be undertaken at both Lisleen and Nutts Corner.
The recommendations from the meeting were:
The Committee is asked to agree the recommendations of the Cemeteries
Working Group, namely that:-
1. Lisleen and Nutts Corner sites are selected as the Council's
preferred sites and that Drumbeg and Hightown are no longer in the shortlist
(within the context of the Council developing one large cemetery).
2. the Council proceeds to a Tier 3 Risk Assessment at both
Lisleen and Nutts Corner.
3, in the meantime, discussions take place with the Environment
and Heritage Service (key stakeholder and statutory consultee) to receive
feedback on the collated hydro-geological reports and to ascertain EHS
views in respect of the feasibility of developing each site.
4. further discussions with neighbouring councils take place
on the issues of mutual concern with regard to the provision of burial
space both at present and in the future.
The Committee adopted the recommendations.
The report from the Parks and Leisure Committee then went forward to the
full Belfast City Council meeting for approval.
We wrote to the Belfast City Council regarding clarification of their
position and in the reply from their Legal Services Department they state
and I quote two of their answers to our questions, viz
"The Council can confirm only that the Council has reduced the shortlist
to two sites (Lisleen and Nutts Corner), in the context of the future
development of one cemetery for the metropolitan area".
"The Council can only confirm at this time that, as stated above,
Drumbeg B is no longer one of the sites in the shortlist for the development
of a future cemetery, in the context of the Council developing one cemetery
for the metropolitan area".
So the situation is not quite what we were led to believe. Drumbeg is
no longer in the shortlist (within the context of the Council developing
one large cemetery). However Belfast City Council has not said that it
no longer wishes to develop a small cemetery at Drumbeg.
If we go back to the beginning of this process Belfast City Council had
to decide between developing one large cemetery or a number of smaller
cemeteries around the city. They chose the large cemetery route. But if
they cannot achieve this do they return to a number of smaller cemeteries?
Our group is aware that Belfast City Council is proposing to carry out
further investigations at the Lisleen Site and this has brought opposition
from local landowners.
An article then appeared in Sunday News on 2 March stating that the Belfast
City Lord Mayor Cllr Jim Rodgers was urging his fellow councillors to
drop the proposal to develop a cemetery and crematorium at Lisleen. The
article also indicated that “Drumbeg in Lisburn and Hightown at
Glengormley have been ruled out as unsuitable for burials” and that
“Nutts Corner in Antrim is seen as a non-runner because it is too
far out of the city”. Cllr Rodgers also stated that “when
the Council set out on the search for a cemetery we agreed it should be
in north or south Belfast” and that he did not “see Nutts
Corner as an alternative and my feeling is we should go back to the drawing
This Committee believes that despite the ground conditions there is still
a strong wish within a section of Belfast City Council to develop a cemetery
at Drumbeg and that if any size of cemetery was developed at Drumbeg it
would be extended until the original proposal was achieved.
Remember that at Drumbeg A (the BMAP site) Belfast City Council's own
Legal and Planning Opinion was that they were unlikely to win at a Public
Inquiry. At Drumbeg B they encountered sand, water and there was a high
risk of pollution. Despite this Drumbeg has not been totally removed from
This Committee remains totally focused and our aims have not changed and
we will continue to work against this threat to our village until it is
A number of incidents of theft of Domestic Heating oil have occurred in
the Lisburn area. Police are asking residents to check their oil level
on a regular basis, at
least twice a week and make sure they have locks on their oil tanks. Access
to the rear of properties should be restricted outside of delivery days.
Thieves are using this time, when oil is so expensive, to target private
homeowners by using vehicles that are similar looking to oil delivery
lorries to call at homes and extract oil from their tanks.
Your assistance is required in being more vigilant. If you notice any
deliveries in your area please note the date and time and most importantly
the vehicle’s registration number. This may be of help to police
if further thefts occur.
In cases where the activity of the delivery person/s looks suspicious
report it to police at Lisburn on:- 0845 600 8000 or dial 999 in an Emergency
Your support and assistance is much appreciated in dealing with this crime.
Willie Johnston, Crime Prevention Officer,
DRUMBEG RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
AGM - Thursday 8th November.
We had updates on our year’s activities, the Treasurer’s report,
and the latest news on the proposed Cemeteries A & B.
Officers and committee for the forthcoming year were elected.
Issues raised were the lack of and exact location of bus stops on the
Drumbeg and Ballyskeagh Roads. Also discussed was the ongoing problem
of higher insurance costs for those who have a BT17 Postcode compared
to those who are BT27. The new committee will look into these matters.
DDRA was advised by a Council Representative that we will need to redraft
our Constitution in order to comply with new regulations due to forthcoming
Charity Legislation. At the moment we are not registered as a Charity.
The revised Constitution will be put before members at the next AGM in
The speaker Dr Billy Nelson of the Renal Unit, Belfast City Hospital gave
an interesting and entertaining talk about Kidney services in Northern
Ireland. It was cheering to hear that Northern Ireland has the best renal
dialysis provision in the British Isles.
Tea and biscuits at the end of the meeting gave a chance for people to
mingle and chat informally. Thank you all for attending.
In the autumn David Watson, Peter McBrier and Roger Mac William planted
daffodils and crocus on the banking of the car park and along the towpath.
The DRA committee is to send the Lagan Valley Regional Park a map showing
where we have planted these. For the last 2 years their contractors have
cut the leaves before they have had time to build up their bulbs after
IRISH NEWS Saturday
12 January 2008
Mourners shivering in a chapel are to be kept warm using heat generated
from cremating their loved ones. The idea will be tried at a crematorium
near Manchester where grieving friends and relatives have complained of
the cold during services. Tameside Council will use heat from cremating
bodies to keep the mourners warm at Dukinfield Crematorium. Town hall
chiefs say the heat generated will be enough to power the boiler and light
But they admit it is a "sensitive" issue and have promised to
consult clergy and the wider community.
Robin Monk, environment chief of Tameside Council, said: "I'm not
sure how people will react, but we don't want to upset anyone. We will
carry out full consultation with priests, vicars and the public before
a decision is taken."
But the Rev Vernon Marshall, of Old Chapel, said: "As a final act
of generosity, it's a lovely way for the dead to provide comfort for the
living at a difficult
Permission to reproduce this has been given by The Irish News
At the beginning of February we had an evening of snow. The next day a
wonderful snow-woman was seen lounging against the Church wall.
The Drumbeg Residents Association is planning two outings for Senior members
of the community.
Transport and lunch are provided free and pick up is in Drumbeg. Venues
have not yet been finalised but the dates are 10th June and 14th October.
We wish Beryl Dean our president all the best for her forthcoming hip
BALLYSKEAGH BUS STOP
Further to matters raised at our AGM Ulsterbus had visited the two locations
in question and a bus stop sign had been placed on the Ballyskeagh Road.
There was a larger than ever turn out for our annual Carol Service. Rev.
Deveney conducted the service and switched on the Christmas tree lights.
Father Christmas and Mayor Tinsley attended!! Soup and hot dogs were provided
by the committee. £194 was raised for the Salvation Army
In December 2006 Drumbeg Stores, Sutherland, Scotland was voted the best
village shop in Scotland in a national competition organised by the CountrysideAlliance
in conjunction with Farmer’s Weekly and the Daily Telegraph. Drumbeg
has 40 residents!
Collection of brown bins recommences in the week beginning 10th March.
LOCAL POET - COLIN SLOAN
Colin has had another book published.
Straight Outta Belfast. Poems and Images of a City in Transition by Colin
Sloan and Brendan Murphy.
Published by Brehon Press. Available from
DRUMBEG VERSUS DRUMBO
The annual Drumbeg versus Drumbo friendly bowling match resulted in a
win for Drumbeg. Drumbo players provided a delicious supper which added
to the occasion.
top of page