Vandals drinking and wrecking local graves

A gravestone at Shankill Parish Graveyard in Lurgan which was vandalised
A gravestone at Shankill Parish Graveyard in Lurgan which was vandalised

Vandals who have been damaging graves in Shankill Graveyard, Lurgan, drinking and leaving rubbish behind have been lambasted by local police.

The PSNI said they wanted to highlight the dangers of anti social behaviour, culminating in a double stabbing of children last weekend in Portadown.

Writing on Facebook, PSNI Craigavon said they had warned about this but were concerned that some parents did not take heed of the warning.

This time police said they were warning about the graveyard in Shankill.

“Some kids seem to think that a resting place equates to a playground, and that damaging graves, drinking and leaving rubbish behind is in some way ok. It’s not.

“There is a clear point here about respect, common decency and a bit of thought, however there is also a big aspect on safety. Many of those grave stones are old, have broken in some way, or are partly hidden in bushes. Anything but slow and careful navigation of the graveyard is a broken ankle or leg waiting to happen. There are fencing surrounds some of which are mini spiked fences. That’s an impaled child right there. At this time of year you can add the fireworks danger.”

Police called on parents to talk to them about respect, and about safety. “You don’t want that next knock on the door to be us telling you the fire service had to cut away a bit of metal work, the end of which is lodged in your child’s chest cavity or eye socket. .

Local historia Jim Conway said: “I am delighted when young people take an interest in the history of this most ancient and fascinating place. We are trying to preserve it for future generations but due to vandalism the history could be lost forever.

“I welcome the PSNI interest and comments however I would hope the council can repurchase the Gatehouse and gates which have been sold to private interest and who choose to leave them open 24hrs a day”