Graves Attacked - '˜I thought I was going to have a heart attack'

Derry man, Micky Doherty, said he almost had a 'heart attack' when he heard vandals had attacked his parents' grave in the City Cemetery at the weekend.

Tuesday, 19th July 2016, 9:53 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th July 2016, 11:55 am
Micky Doherty's parents grave before and after the attack. The photo to the right shows how the criminals dislodged the statue and smashed glass at the foot of the headstone.

Micky, a local entertainer, lost both parents within a period of four weeks in 2014.

“I got a phone call at the weekend from the funeral directors saying my mammy and daddy’s grave had been attacked.

“I was distraught, I couldn’t speak, I thought I was going to have a heart attack,” said Micky.

The vandals dislodged a statue, which cost £2,000 and was designed by Micky, from the grave and smashed glass at the foot of the headstone.

“I know it wasn’t a personal attack because there were other graves attacked too but it’s still awful.

“My sisters and I visit mammy and daddy’s grave every single day - it’s their home, it’s their resting place - it’s horrible.”

Micky added: “I am coping much better now than I was at the weekend. There are people much worse off than me. All you have to do is look at what happened that little boy Ronan McGavigan at the weekend - my heart goes out to the family.”

The incident was unanimously condemned by local politicians.

“The scenes of destruction are appalling, and I will continue my work with council officials to ensure that this site is protected from this vandalism. There will be an immediate step up in security, while we find a long term solution to this issue. I would encourage anyone with any information about these vicious attacks to contact the police,” said SDLP Councillor, Brian Tierney.

Sinn Fein Colr. Kevin Campbell said: “There is a mounting catalogue of vandalism incidents of graves in the City Cemetery over the past year and that’s not including the burning of a car in the grounds.

“I would once again appeal for these senseless actions to stop and if anyone knows the culprits to contact the PSNI.”