Security fence helps reduced anti-social behaviour at historic graveyard

The grave of Margorie McCall in Shankill Graveyard. INLM44-136gc
The grave of Margorie McCall in Shankill Graveyard. INLM44-136gc

The erection of a security fence at an historic NI graveyard has helped reduce anti-social behaviour, it has been revealed.

Shankill Graveyard in Lurgan, where the famous Margorie McCall was buried twice, has been plagued with youths drinking and taking drugs for many years.

In recent years the anti-social behaviour at the graveyard has escalated with gravestones, dating back centuries, smashed by vandals.

A group Friends of Shankill Graveyard was set up to help rejuvenate the cemetery and lobby for help in protecting and promoting its historic value.

And now a public meeting has been set up to let people know what the group has achieved so far.

It will be at Brownlow House on October 10 at 7.30pm.

A spokesperson for the group said: “The aim of the meeting is to outline what has been achieved to date; a suggested programme for the next few months and, most importantly, to listen to your suggestions on what we need to do and how you can help so we all move forward together.

“We need your help and your suggestions to protect and preserve the fabric of the graveyard and to develop and expand the research of the history and heritage of Shankill and its’ people.

“The Security Fence erected by Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council at the Gatehouse to Shankill Graveyard, has, for the present, had a positive effect and we are pleased to report that the instances of vandalism have decreased.

“However, we cannot be complacent as the darker evenings of winter approach and need to increase our efforts to ensure the protection and conservation of our common history.

“By working together to preserve the site, we will uncover more of the hidden gems of Lurgan’s history, maximise the potential of the Graveyard and it’s surroundings as a green space for people to visit, use and enjoy.and ensure that its’ unique heritage is protected for future generations. A place where we are proud, not ashamed, to welcome our global visitors!

All are welcome to Brownlow House on 10th October at 7.30pm.