Call to restore Blacker grave

DUP Councillor Jonathan Buckley pictured beside the damaged Blacker family grave.
DUP Councillor Jonathan Buckley pictured beside the damaged Blacker family grave.

A grave in Seagoe Cemetery belonging to the Blacker family should be restored to its former glory, a local councillor has said.

Councillor Jonathan Buckley of the DUP said he had been contacted by local residents concerned about the state of disrepair of the grave.

He has called on the council to clean it up, and also referred to barriers erected by the council on health and safety grounds.

He said, “The Blacker family have numerous historical links with the Portadown area and it is saddening to see that this particular grave has fallen into such a poor condition with an overgrowth of weeds in particular.

“I believe it would now be appropriate for the ABC Council to explore ways in which this grave of local historical significance could potentially be cleaned up and restored in a respectful manner.

“This would be something that would be positive because it would allow us to properly preserve and maintain a site of historical significance for future generations.”

A spokesperson for the council said, “As well as being a modern cemetery, Seagoe also includes graves and surrounds dating back to the late 1700s and early 1800s.

“Council has a responsibility for the health and safety of cemeteries to ensure - so far as is reasonably practical - our burial grounds are safe places to visit and work. This may require council to undertake such action as laying a memorial flat/providing a support to remove any risk to visitors and staff - but would not result in us repairing a memorial.

“Memorials are the responsibility of the registered plot owner and/or family– It would be up to them to undertake any maintenance or repair. If the current owner is deceased, ownership would need to be transferred before works can be approved.”