UPDATE: Full cost of cemetery vandalism revealed but City Hall says it will not pay for the damage

UPDATE: Full cost of cemetery vandalism revealed but City Hall says it will not pay for the damage
Large numbers of people at the grave yard to check their family graves and inspect the Vandalism at St. Catherine's Cemetery, Kilcully, Co. Cork.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

THE full cost of sickening vandalism at Kilcully cemetery has been revealed by Cork City Council.

Five headstones were knocked over and items on 14 other plots were damaged.

A memo released to councilors on Friday, a week after the vandalism came to light, estimates the cost of damages at €16,000.

However, the council has said it “cannot accept responsibility for damage to private property" within all its thirteen graveyards but acknowledged the “upset and stress” caused to families.

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 memo read: “Five headstones were knocked over, with some now reinstated and others needing replacement. Various other smaller items such as statues or adornments were damaged on fourteen other plots. The Gardai were contacted immediately and given a copy of CCTV footage to assist with the investigation, CCTV cameras covering the car park and entrances to the cemetery. The most serious damage was caused to five Traveller family graves.

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 estimated cost of repairs is in the region of € 16k . Whilst the Council will facilitate access by Stone Cutters to carry out repairs, it cannot accept responsibility for damage to private property within all our thirteen graveyards, headstones belonging to those with Rights of Burial in each of our cemeteries.

“We fully appreciate the upset and stress caused to those with loved ones in St Catherine's and our staff have been liaising with families over the past few days and Stone Cutters, asked by families to carry out repairs.

“Full time 24 hour security is in place at the graveyard since last Friday.” 

A public meeting regarding the vandalism is taking place at the Commons Inn in Blackpool on Saturday at 2pm.

Numerous reports of headstones being tampered with, ornaments being broken or removed and items being stolen from graves have emerged in recent months at St Catherine’s cemetery.

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