UPDATE: City Hall steps up security at vandalised graveyard

UPDATE: City Hall steps up security at vandalised graveyard
Vandalism damage to headstones/Graves, at St. Catherine's Cemetery, Kilcully, Co. Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

CORK City Council has arranged 24-hour security to patrol Kilcully cemetery after the vandalism of headstones last week that has caused public outrage.

Several headstones were knocked over or damaged and holy statues had their heads removed at St Catherine’s graveyard.

Crowds of people gathered over the weekend to check on loved ones' graves and view the appalling scenes.

Stephen Scully of City Hall’s parks and recreation department has confirmed to The Echo that security measures are now in place.

“The Gardai are investigating the matter. We have arranged security at the Cemetery for the foreseeable future.” 

The Echo understands CCTV footage has emerged of individuals entering the cemetery in darkness last week but the cameras in place at St Catherine’s graveyard are facing toward the car park and no activity in the graveyard is recorded.

A public meeting is being planned at the Commons Inn at 2pm next Saturday to help families who have loved ones buried in Kilcully.

Vandalism damage to headstones/Graves, at St. Catherine's Cemetery, Kilcully, Co. Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Vandalism damage to headstones/Graves, at St. Catherine's Cemetery, Kilcully, Co. Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

The aim of the meeting is to improve security at the graveyard and install more CCTV to help reduce anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

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

"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. I spoke to a man who came down from Dublin to see his aunt's and uncle's grave. He was a fine man, in his fifties, but the poor man was upset."

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

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