Castleisland Gardaí Investigating Desecration of Graves Tonight

Gardaí from the local station examining the damage done to the graves in St. Stephen’s Cemetery beside the Ivy Leaf Art Centre in Castleisland this evening. ©Photograph: John Reidy
The scene at St. Stephen’s Cemetery tonight as distressed relatives gathered at the graves which had been vandalised earlier in the evening. Included are: Andrew Foran whose grandparents are buried there; sisters, Eileen Carty and Catheriona O’Brien at the grave of their grandparents and cousin; Noreen Ryan whose son Freddy died in an accident in 2007 and is buried there and Andrew’s mother Ann Foran ringing the local Garda station. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Smashed grave plaques and memorial ornaments lay beside the graves from which they were taken while others were scattered and thrown around the cemetery earlier this evening. The damage was discovered at around 6pm this evening. ©Photograph: John Reidy























Gardai in Castleisland were called to a scene of an outbreak of vandalism this evening at St. Stephen’s Cemetery just off the town centre.

They launched an investigation after finding distressed relatives around at least five family related graves.

The family members there tonight have parents and grandparents and one of them, Noreen Ryan has a son, Freddie who was killed in a road accident in 2007 also buried there.

Ornaments Smashed

Ornaments, memorial plaques and potted plants were lifted off the graves and smashed against the surrounds of several graves close by.

While the damage has been labeled as ‘mindless black-guarding’ by the relatives they are waiting until the light of the morning to assess the full extent of the damage.

Ivy Leaf Gable

It also came to light this evening that a trail of broken ornaments was discovered on the eastern side of the cemetery beyond the gable of the Ivy Leaf Art Centre.

It is an act of wanton black-guarding against a family of people with whom the perpetrators couldn’t have any association or grudge.

Act of Vandalism

People at the scene tonight are certain that the act of vandalism was carried out in daylight hours and between 4pm and when it was discovered at around 5:30pm.

The site has been used as a cemetery for the locality from the late 1500s and it was also the scene of daily burials from the workhouse across the street during famine times.

Garda Appeal

Apart from the breaking of a headstone there back in October 2013, it has managed to escape that kind of vandalism until now.

Anyone who saw anything or anyone in the area of the Ivy Leaf Art Centre and adjoining cemetery this afternoon/ evening are urged to contact the local Garda station on: 066 71 41204.

People can also ring the confidential Garda line on: 1800 666 111.

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