'We charge enough for the graves': Calls for City Council to do more to protect Cork cemeteries

'We charge enough for the graves': Calls for City Council to do more to protect Cork cemeteries
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

There have been calls for decisive action from Cork City Council to address problems in cemeteries around Cork. 

People with loved ones buried in St Catherine’s Cemetery in Kilcully are still reeling from the extensive damage caused in a vandalism attack this week. 

Vandalism on Headstone.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Vandalism on Headstone.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Smashed headstones and statues knocked over sparked a Garda investigation.

Local Fianna Fáil councillor Ken O’Flynn told The Echo that it’s time the council takes decisive action.

“I think it is vital now that Cork City Council listens to the complaints of the families of the deceased,” he said. “This isn’t the first time they’ve had complaints of anti-social behaviour. They’ve been very slow to react to claims that have been made in the past.”

He said that CCTV is needed at the graveyard, while ensuring the gates are locked and plots are secure is of the utmost importance.

He said the council must ensure this type of behaviour does not happen again.

Large numbers of people at the grave yard to check their family graves and inspect the vandalism.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Large numbers of people at the grave yard to check their family graves and inspect the vandalism.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

A meeting is to take place in The Commons Inn this Saturday, to discuss how to move forward, and will see a fund established to help with fixing the damage.

“I am donating €500 into a fund,” said Mr O’Flynn said.

“I believe it’s going to be set up on Saturday to ensure that people that can’t afford to replace their headstones, that there’s a fund there.

“I think there will be a committee formed and an account that’s accountable set up, that’ll help people restore their graves and possibly fund other security measures in conjunction with the City Council.”

Problems at other burial sites

Mr O’Flynn said he has been contacted by families affected by the vandalism in Kilcully, but also by people who have loved ones buried in other graveyards run by the City Council.

He said: “It’s not the first time we’ve heard of anti-social behaviour, between people drinking in graveyards, robbing cars outside graveyards and those engaged in that type of destruction, along with copulation on graves that has been discussed about in St Finbarr’s Cemetery. That behaviour isn’t acceptable at all.

“There are people leaving dogs into graveyards as well to defecate. That’s a total lack of respect.

“I believe that as City Council, not only do we have to have CCTV, but if we do find the culprits behaving in such a manner, we should prosecute to the maximum effect of the law.

“I think it’s something that we’re going to have to invest heavily in. We charge enough for the graves and I think we have to reinvest back into our graveyards now to ensure there is a decent security service provided for it.”

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