Grave robbers cause distress after weeks of thefts from NI cemetery

Grave robbers, stealing sentimental memorials and flowers from a Co Armagh cemetery are causing untold distress to families, says an MLA.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 3:27 pm

For weeks now, flowers displays and memorials have been stolen from a number of graves at Orchard Cemetery in Richhill.

DUP MLA William Irwin said these ongoing incidents is a cause of ‘great concern’.

Mr Irwin has also urged Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council officers to refocus on the problem and help to end the hurt being caused as a result of the thefts.

DUP MLA William Irwin.

Mr Irwin said: “Everyone had hoped that the thefts a few weeks ago were isolated incidents, however it is highly concerning that a further series of incidents have occurred and more families have been distressed to discover flowers and displays taken and also a memorial plaque.”

He added: “People visiting the grave of a loved one are already grieving and distressed and then to discover their floral displays and memorials have been taken is despicable and is really unsettling for the family or individual. I would urgently call on the person responsible to desist from this activity.

“I have again requested that Council officials redouble their efforts in this regard and try to identify anyone acting suspiciously in Orchard Cemetery. It is vital that this behaviour stops given the great distress being caused.”

A spokesperson for the Council said; “Council strongly condemns the theft of floral displays and memorials at Orchard Cemetery, and extends its sympathies to the families impacted.

“Council officers are continuing to monitor the situation and are encouraging anyone that may have witnessed this behaviour, or has any information to contact the PSNI.”

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