Stealing from the dead fury

Helena Mcgee
Cruel-hearted thieves are targetting graves stealing wreaths, plaques and lights causing untold distress to bereaved families.

Cruel-hearted thieves are targetting graves stealing wreaths, plaques and lights causing untold distress to bereaved families.

The removal of items from graves at St.Patrick’s Cemetery in Clonmel has shocked families and has led to calls for CCTV cameras to be installed.

“It’s stealing from the dead, it’s absolutely disgraceful” said Cllr. Helena McGee who has appealed to Clonmel Borough Council to step up security at the graveyard. Last week a devastated mother discovered that a memorial plaque had been taken from her son’s grave. It was the third time that items placed lovingly by family members on the grave had been taken.

The woman’s son, who was in his twenties, died three years ago from cancer. “A light was taken last year, a wreath was taken recently and now last week this plaque was stolen” said Cllr. McGee who said the practice was common not only in St. Patrick’s Cemetery but also in graveyards in Cahir and Cashel.

“It’s rampant. It is very disrespectful to the dead and to their families. It is causing great hurt and upset and something has to be done to put a stop to it,” she said. She believes the thieves are supplying a market and making money from selling on the items stolen from the graves. “All the items can be sold on. The plaques that are being taken are not personalised and those are the ones that are being removed,” she said. At a meeting of Clonmel Borough Council officials informed Cllr. McGee that they would examine suitable security measures including CCTV.