The gang of youths who set fire to a car close to graves in Derry City Cemetery had become abusive to staff prior to the incident, it has been confirmed.
Workers at the cemetery had been in the process of contacting the PSNI when the three-door silver vehicle was set alight at a parking space in the newer, lower part of the cemetery near Lone Moor Road.
The Council deeply regrets this incident and understands how distressing it is for families who have loved ones interned in the cemetery but would like to reassure them that it is working closely with the PSNI to investigate the matter fully.Council spokesperson
A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council this morning confirmed that the burnt out shell of the car was removed shortly after the gates opened at 8am this morning.
Describing how events unfolded on Tuesday evening, the spokeswoman said: “An incident occurred shortly after closing time yesterday evening, Tuesday, November 3, when a group of youths who had gathered in the new part of the cemetery refused to leave the area and became abusive to staff. “It’s understood that a car was set alight whilst staff were contacting the PSNI to have the youths removed from the site.
“Both the fire service and the PSNI attended the scene.”
She added: “Arrangements were made by Council to have the car removed and the area cleaned first thing this morning.
“The Council deeply regrets this incident and understands how distressing it is for families who have loved ones interred in the cemetery but would like to reassure them that it is working closely with the PSNI to investigate the matter fully.
“The Cemetery is a place for quiet reflection and every effort will be made to ensure it is treated with respect by those visiting and using the facility.”
The council have appealed to anyone who has any information relating to the incident to contact the PSNI.
“In the meantime Council will continue to work with PSNI and the local Community Safety wardens to prevent anti-social behaviour,” the spokeswoman said.