Locals express “disgust and outrage” at lack of sound system at Blessing of the Graves in Dundalk

Locals express “disgust and outrage” at lack of sound system at Blessing of the Graves in Dundalk

A large number of people have expressed their “disgust and outrage” at proceedings at the Blessing of the Graves ceremony in St Patrick’s Cemetery in Dowdallshill this afternoon

Unlike in previous years, there was no sound system in place so that those in attendance could hear the service.

People were directed by means of a poster at the entrance to the graveyard to listen to the event on their mobile phones via Dundalk FM.

While many people opted to do this, it was not practical for some of the older generation in attendance who do not have smartphones or the know-how to connect to an online streaming service such as TuneIn.

Furthermore, while Louth County Council had announced prior to the event that it would be broadcast live on Dundalk FM, it was not pointed out that this would be the only means to listen in to the service with many believing it would be in addition to the usual coverage. As a result, many people who may have opted to listen in to Dundalk FM did not have headphones or portable radios with them.

One person who contacted Talk of the Town about the matter said they and everyone around them were “disgusted and outraged.”

Another, Anthony O’Hagan, described the situation as “a complete shambles”

He said: “That is one of the major events in Dundalk every year. Many people come from abroad and closer to home to be there with family as well to remember the dead.

“For whatever reason the Council decided this year not to have the sound system. The idea they had was for people to tune into Dundalk FM and listen to the broadcast using their mobile phones etc. Very few people of an older generation even know what a mobile phone with internet access is.

“It was a complete shambles for most in the graveyard who had no idea what was happening and did not realise there would be no sound.”

One of the priests at the ceremony told those who were complaining to contact Louth County Council about the matter if they wanted a change for next year.

One of the largest crowds in recent years attended the Blessing of the Graves in Dowdallshill today, helped by the superb weather.

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