Islanders on Inis Mor have tried for several years to extend the cemetery at Cnocan na mBan and they suffered more setbacks when they discovered the newly acquired land for the planned extension had been designated under the EU's Habitats Directive.
Before the news, local resident, Jamesie O Flatharta was delighted that the graveyard crisis had finally been solved.
"It is already gone to the stage where people are being forced to bury their relatives on the cemetery pathways", he said.
"When Galway County Council negotiated for extra land at Cnocan na mBan at Cill Mhuirbhigh, we thought the problem was sorted, but now the botanical survey has set us all back," he added.
Councillor, Sean O Tuairisc told the Herald newspaper that the situation was critical.