Belfast Telegraph

Probe after gravediggers find body in Northern Ireland cemetery that wasn't supposed to be there

Officers investigate the grave at Seagoe Cemetery
Officers investigate the grave at Seagoe Cemetery
Forensic experts are called in
The grave is covered
Ralph Hewitt

By Ralph Hewitt

Undocumented human bones discovered in a Co Armagh graveyard are believed to be 100 years old.

The remains were found just two feet below the ground yesterday morning in Portadown's Seagoe Cemetery.

At the time of the discovery, council workers were digging up a family plot for a funeral that was due to take place.

PSNI officers and forensic experts were at the scene as the bones were exhumed by Milne Funeral Services, while the rear gate of the cemetery was cordoned off.

Seagoe Cemetery was closed until 11am but it wasn't until 4.30pm that the area where the plot is located was reopened to the public.

The PSNI confirmed it was carrying out an investigation into the matter.

However, police later said that the archaeological department of Queen's University was consulted and the remains were determined to be "historical" and were to be buried again.

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council said it could not comment on the incident as it was a "police matter".

Portadown UUP councillor Julie Flaherty praised the actions of the cemetery staff yesterday.

"We are relieved that there's nothing untoward," she said. "Our staff are under pressure but I have found our cemetery staff to be very good and very diligent.

"They followed every line of protocol to the letter and they knew exactly what they had to do.

"Everything was then wrapped up in a couple of hours, thankfully."

Craigavon councillor Margaret Tinsley was also glad to see the matter sorted.

"Thankfully there's nothing sinister here," added the DUP deputy Lord Mayor.

Ian Milne of Milne Funeral Services, who has a funeral home adjoining the cemetery, said that he committed himself to carrying out a full Christian burial at no expense yesterday after being informed of the discovery by the PSNI.

As the identity of the remains cannot be identified, the person has been named 'Robin'.

Belfast Telegraph


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