Cork cemetery vandalism latest: Public meetings and fundraising planned

Cork cemetery vandalism latest: Public meetings and fundraising planned
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

There are plans for fundraising to replace the serious damage done at St Catherine's Cemetery, Kilcully in recent days, while a public meeting is taking place next Saturday about the vandalism.

The Cork public was shocked by the images of headstones knocked over and statues smashed in the cemetery damage, in an incident which is now the subject of a Garda investigation.

Vandalism to a statue.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Vandalism to a statue.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Local councillor Ken O’Flynn has told The Echo he will be giving €500 to ‘kickstart fundraising for the headstone replacement fund’.

A public meeting is set to take place at the Commons Inn at 2pm next Saturday, where locals intend to discuss what they can do to protect the cemetary from further harm.

“We can’t put up with this … something needs to be done!” an organiser said.

Currently, City Council CCTV only monitors the car park at Kilcully and not the activity in the graveyard itself.

This is not the first incident at the cemetery in recent months but it is the most serious.

Yesterday, campaigner for the elderly Paddy O'Brien described the heartbreaking scenes at a city cemetery, saying; "I've never seen so many people upset."

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.

Large crowds arrived to check on the graves of their loved ones as news of the attacks spread.

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

Families arrived to the site to find headstones knocked off their plinths and the heads knocked off holy statues.

Empty bottles of alcohol were also found on graves.

Mr O'Brien, who runs Cork's Over 60s talent competition, visited the cemetery to check on the grave of his wife.

He said: "It's an awful sight. The place was packed. I'm going to hundreds of funerals here and I've never seen so many cars. I've never seen so many people upset, crying with tears.

"It's appalling. I was looking at one grave, I spoke to the family. Her wish was that she would be buried under a tree. The whole thing is gone, destroyed. They've taken away the stone.

"There are families here crying.

"My own wife is buried here." 

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

A spokesperson for City Hall said: “Cork City Council are aware of this incident, the gardaí are currently investigating.”

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