Families whose loved ones are buried in a Belfast cemetery say they are "devastated" by the removal of flowers and other personal mementos from the graves.
On Saturday morning, relatives arrived at St Joseph's Cemetery, Hannahstown, to find that tributes including photos and memorial plaques had been put in skips or set to one side.
Relatives claim they only became aware of what had happened when somebody posted a video on Facebook.
SDLP representative for west Belfast Paul Doherty said he was contacted on both Saturday and Sunday by "many distressed families" and that relatives deserve an apology.
Louise Watson, from Suffolk Road, whose sister Sinead (45), a mother-of-two, was buried in the cremation plot just two weeks ago, managed to retrieve most of her mementos and has vowed to keep putting them on the grave.
She said: "My mother couldn't even talk yesterday when she found out what happened. She saw it on Facebook and phoned me in a state, so I went straight up to Hannahstown.
"My sister's children live in England and they put wee trinkets down in memory of her and they had all been taken off.
"We found some of the stuff and put it back on again and we will keep doing that every single day.
"There were wee babies' plaques taken off the cremation plots. It was absolutely heartbreaking to watch people going through skips looking for their things.
"These memorials are the one, tiny thing people can do to help the grieving process."
She added: "Nobody phoned us or wrote to us to tell us this was going to happen.
"The cremation plot is absolutely beautiful and now it just looks cold. People are going to go up there and feel empty. It's going to affect people's mental health.
"The cemetery was absolutely packed yesterday. There were people glueing things on to the cremation plots to make sure they can't be removed. That's how far they are going."
Her fiancé Tony Rice, whose father Brendan is also buried in the cemetery, said even flowers from fresh graves had been thrown in the skips.
"People need to be able to go and put things on their graves, for closure and comfort," he said.
"A sign went up in January asking relatives to remove items but nobody took any notice of it because a similar sign went up last year and nothing happened and it was taken down again."
Meanwhile, some distraught relatives took to social media to highlight what had happened, with a number taking photographs and posting up videos of the cleared graves and skips.
One grieving mother wrote: "It's a struggle for me and my family to put one foot in front of the other each day.
"I come to visit my 16-year-old child three or four times a day but this morning to come up and find my son's and everybody else's loved ones and memories threw in a bin, it's a bloody disgrace."
Another woman, who posted up a video of the cremation plots, called it an "absolute disgrace".
She said she had had to "trail through" items to find the ornaments and plaques that were on her mum's grave.
"There's a sign up on the gate asking you to remove things, but no one was contacted individually," she said.
The parish has been criticised in the past for a number of decisions.
In June 2019, the parents of murdered west Belfast boxer Eamonn Magee were given 28 days to remove the boxing-glove shaped headstone on his grave as it was in breach of regulations.
And the same month, the family of a young mother was told to remove her butterfly-shaped headstone as it did not comply with cemetery rules.
The SDLP's Mr Doherty said he had contacted those overseeing the management of the graveyard, in order to avoid a repeat of such distress in the future, and was awaiting a response.
"I am hopeful of reaching out and speaking to those involved, not only for an apology but to highlight the fact there does need to be appropriate communication going forward, to avoid the distress which has obviously been caused here to a lot of people," he said.
The parish was contacted for comment.