Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Widow's outrage as cemetery is used as a dumping ground

A widow has expressed outrage after the cemetery where her husband is buried was used as a dumping ground.

A tractor and trailer is believed to have been driven onto Castlederg Cemetery before planks from a demolished garden shed were off-loaded close to new plots.

The discovery was made last Friday morning as Strabane District Council officials arrived to open up the graveyard.

Jean McMullan (68) yesterday made her weekly visit to the grave of her husband Samuel, who died from cancer 21 years ago.

Mrs McMullan said she was disgusted at the rubbish being “dumped on sacred ground”.

“Just as I approached the cemetery it is very, very plain to see somebody had drove in a tractor and dumped a load of shed timber all over the site, not very far from where people are actually being buried.

“I felt it was devastating to say the least to see that someone would stoop so low to dump in a cemetery, a sacred place were people go to pay their respects.

“There is a skip about two miles up the road where they could have dumped this for free.

“It is very disdainful that someone would think along these lines. I have been visiting that cemetery for 21 years and I have never experienced anything like it.”

Mrs McMullan said those responsible “shouldn’t ever dream of doing that again”.

Strabane District Council took the decision to leave the rubbish

in place for a number of days to highlight what the culprits had done, but it is understood some of it had vanished by yesterday.

UUP Councillor Derek Hussey, who has several friends and relations by marriage buried in the cemetery, said: “This took place in a part of the cemetery being prepared for future plots and my own plot is there. The nearest grave is just 25 to 30 metres away and it is very hard to understand the mentality of someone who would do that. It is totally repulsive.

“I can’t find the words to even try to describe the sort of person who would contemplate, much less actually do, that sort of thing. I just can’t find the words.”

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