FAMILIES DEVASTATED BY GRAVE ROBBERIES

St Colman's Cemetery, Lurgan. INLM0113-112gc
St Colman's Cemetery, Lurgan. INLM0113-112gc

A NUMBER of Lurgan families were left shocked and hurt on Christmas Day when they discovered their loved ones’ graves had been robbed.

Heartless thieves stole flowers and other personal items from a number of graves at St Colman’s Cemetery.

One family was distressed to learn that flowers, which they had placed on their mum and dad’s grave just a day before, had been stolen.

The person, who didn’t want to be named, said if the thief was really stuck for money to buy flowers, she would have lent them the cash.

“They didn’t have to steal them and ruin my Christmas,” she said.

There were also reports that flowers from another grave had been burned by vandals though this could not be confirmed by the MAIL at the time of going to press.

And parishioners at St Patrick’s Derrymacash were also shocked to discover flowers and ornaments robbed from graves over Christmas.

SDLP councillor Declan McAlinden said it was “sickening”.

He condemned the thefts saying:“It’s especially sickening at this time of year when people are remembering those they have lost.

“It’s shocking the type of mentality these people have at the mouth of Christmas.”

A spokesperson for the PSNI said: “Police are not aware of an increase in incidents of criminal damage in graveyards or cemeteries. However even one incident of this nature is one too many.

“Damage to a grave or theft of ornaments, which hold great sentimental value, causes needless upset for families and relatives.

“We would encourage anyone with information to contact us on 0845 600 8000.”