Belfast Telegraph

Parents of murdered Belfast boxer Eamonn Magee junior told to remove boxing glove headstone

Eamonn Magee junior with his father, Eamonn
Eamonn Magee junior with his father, Eamonn

The parents of murdered west Belfast boxer Eamonn Magee jnr have been ordered to remove their son's headstone.

The Irish News reports the family said they have been given 28 days to remove the boxing-glove shaped headstone from Hannahstown Cemetery.

The decision was taken by the parish cemetery committee who said "a number of people" have been asked to remove headstones erected "without approval" and in breach of regulations. The parish did not disclose how many people in total have been told to remove headstones.

Eamonn jnr- the son of former world boxing champion Eamonn Magee- was stabbed to death in Twinbrook in 2015.

His mother, Mary Magee, said she "squealed" when the family received a letter last week telling them to remove the headstone, which has been in place for around two years and no issue had been raised until this point.

"It really meant something to us, because of Eamonn and wee Eamonn- they're both boxers," she said.

"It's very worrying what's going to happen over it. Why would it have to come down?"

Eamonn Magee snr said he has been in touch with his solicitor about this issue.

"My son was a great fighter. I just thought it was appropriate to get him a headstone that was a boxing glove," he said.

The parents of Eamonn Magee, Eamonn Snr and Mary

The Parish of Hannahstown Cemetery Committee in a statement expressed regret at the distress of the Magee family but said that regulations have been established on headstones and memorials for "efficient maintenance" and to ensure memorials are suitable for the setting and that the "dignity of the cemetery is maintained".

The spokesperson said families and funeral directors sign leases with the parish cemetery committee which include an agreement to observe the regulations of the cemetery.

"In accordance with the established regulations, a number of individuals who have erected headstones in recent months without the approval and permission of the cemetery committee have been contacted and advised to remove or replace these non-compliant headstones," the spokesperson added.

The committee said to avoid such situations in the future it should be approached by sculptors in advance to ensure the design is in line with cemetery regulations.

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