Criminal damage to grave at St. Patrick’s

Councillor Marie Hamilton has called on people visiting graves to be vigilant after police received complaints of criminal damage at the cemetery on the Dromore Road.

St Patrick's Cemetery on the Dromore Road © Edward Byrne Photography INBL1430-202EB

Over the past number of months flowers have been removed and pots damaged at a grave at St Patrick’s.

Police say that they will be monitoring activity around the cemetery, and would urge anyone who sees or hears suspicious activity to call them.

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Constable Delaney, of Banbridge Neighbouthood Policing Team said: “Criminal damage is never acceptable but this is particularly upsetting for those who spend time tending graves of their loved ones only to find them vandalised.

“We will be monitoring activity around the cemetery and would appeal to anyone who lives close by or visits this area to report any suspicious activity to police immediately on the 101 non-emergency number.”

Anyone who would like to report anything but does want to give details can ring the Crimestoppers charity which is 0800 555111.

Councillor Hamilton who visits the St Patrick’s graveyard regularly, said that damage to a loved ones grave is always upsetting.

She hoped that whoever was responsible would be caught and urged people to report suspicious activity.

Marie, whose father died when she was just one-year-old would often visit the grave.

“I have been attending this grave yard for years and I have never heard of anyone who had damage caused to their grave,” she said.

“I am surprised that some damage has been caused here at St Patrick’s. This is a quiet out of the way sort of grave yard and very peaceful.

“To hear that someone has been stealing or damaging or removing flower pots is quite dispicable.

“It is totally disgraceful. How low can you get?

“The cemetery is a very open site and definitely not a place you would see young ones hanging around.

“If a particular grave is being targetted that is worrying however, equally if its random graves that are being targetted then that is not good too.

“No-one has ever come to me to complain about damage. I would urge them that if there is a problem do come and see me.

“I have spoken to friends who also regularly attend their graves and really they have not heard of anything untoward happening.”