A local man has spoken of his anger after vandals wrecked floral tributes and knocked over memorials at the City Cemetery in Derry.
The man was paying a visit to his parents’ grave at the top of the new steps near the Lone Moore Road entrance to the cemetery on Sunday when he came across the damage.
While low level in nature, he said that this would have been upsetting for many relatives as several rows in the graveyard seem to have been affected.
He said: “I noticed the flowers were missing on my parents’ grave and that a lot of flowers have been pulled out and planters and pots were knocked over elsewhere.
“I walked around several aisles of graves and there was a similar pattern around four or five aisles.”
The man said the nature of the damage meant it could not have been done by animals or the weather. Urging local parents to make sure their children were not involved, he said: “People look after their graves in this city. “It could be devastating for somebody to go to the cemetery and find the grave of their loved one was tampered with.
“It’s very emotive for people that anything like this would go on in the cemetery. It can cause a lot of hurt and damage.”
Sinn Fein Councillor Colly Kelly said that Derry City & Strabane District Council had recently introduced a range of new security measures to tackle break-ins and vandalism at the cemetery along with partner organisations. He added however that it was not just down to the council to sort out the issue.
“People who break the sanctity of the cemetery to get up to this sort of carry-on, they might not understand or realise what they are actually doing and the implications of it.
“I would appeal for it to stop immediately and if anybody knows who was involved to hand that information in to the council or the police straight away because we want this to stop.”