Belfast Telegraph

Minister in appeal after yobs vandalise graves

A clergyman has appealed to young people to keep out of a Co Antrim cemetery after graves were vandalised.

The Rev John Cunningham, of St Patrick's Church of Ireland in Ballymoney, was speaking after flowers placed on the grave of a woman who was recently buried were moved.

Now police have moved in and have already spoken to a number of young people.

A woman, who did not wish to be named, hit out at vandals who “desecrated” her mum’s grave at the Queen Street cemetery after flowers were switched to another grave, a wreath was torn and a picture was broken.

Rev Cunningham said: “I think it is despicable that people find it necessary to so do such things to the graves of people’s loved ones.

“We have had a degree of vandalism in my time here over the last four years and it is very upsetting for relatives.

“I would appeal for vandals to keep out of the graveyard and I would like the public to keep an eye out for anyone acting suspiciously in the graveyard.”

Rev Cunningham confirmed that in the latest incident personal items placed on graves were redistributed around the graveyard and vases were scattered. He said the items have now been put back.

A PSNI spokesman said: “We received reports of youths causing a bit of a disturbance around the graveyard at St Patrick's. A number of youths have been spoken to by police and we will continue to give the area attention.”

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