Belfast Telegraph

Let my brothers rest in peace... Ballymena woman hits out at ‘heartbreaking’ grave vandalism

By Nevin Farrell

A Ballymena woman has slammed a series of sickening attacks on the grave of her brothers and called on ghoulish vandals to let them "rest in peace".

Norah Cahoon (59) hit out after another attack on the grave Ken and Mark McPeake at Ballee Cemetery in the town.

In the latest incident, believed to have happened on Tuesday, the headstone was damaged and flowers were uprooted and scattered.

Norah believes a flowerpot plinth was lobbed at the headstone, which knocked out chunks of stone and damaged a photo of one of her brothers.

She said: "Whoever is doing this, they are not hurting Ken and Mark but our family, and if they have any beef they should approach us and let us know what this is all about, instead of desecrating a grave.

"Can they just not let them rest in peace?

"This is heartbreaking for our family."

Norah said the first incident happened last Christmas when flowers were scattered, and the second incident was during the summer when pots were taken from the grave and the flower plinth was thrown against the nearby cemetery wall.

Ken was 30 when, along with another person, he died in a fire in Ballymena in 1994.

Mark was 51 when he passed away in tragic circumstances in 2017 in the Drumtara estate along with a friend after a suspected drinking binge.

Norah said he was an alcoholic but that even if someone had some grudge against him or his brother, it was beneath contempt to attack a grave.

She said she believes lights and CCTV cameras are needed at the cemetery.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said: "This was a deplorable incident and we appeal to anybody with information regarding this crime to contact police.

"Council staff and the family have carried out repairs at the grave, including reinstating the surround and flowers. Minor damage to the headstone remains."

Police described the latest incident as a "despicable attack" and appealed for information.

Belfast Telegraph

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