Rained off workers removed cemetery relics, not vandals

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Vandals didn’t remove relics and mementos from graves in a Londonderry cemetery on Tuesday, rather Council workers, who had taken them down during routine maintenance, were rained off before they had a chance to put them back.

Derry City and Strabane District Council has apologised for any upset that may have been caused to grieving relatives.

Representatives from Derry City and Strabane District Council and the PSNI visited Ballyoan Cemetery on Wednesday, July 27, following complaints from the public that relics and mementos were removed from a small number of graves there and have confirmed that no vandalism was involved.

A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council explained that the relics had been removed by Council grounds maintenance staff who were carrying out routine grass cutting and maintenance work at the Cemetery yesterday.

The spokesperson explained that due to inclement weather conditions at the time, they were unable to complete the works or reinstate the relics to the graves.

Apologising for any upset caused, the spokesperson said Council was sorry if their actions caused any distress to the public.

The spokesperson assured the public that staff will be at the Cemetery today to complete the work and reinstate the relics to the graves.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience and upset caused and endeavour to do what we can today to redress the issue. We are very mindful of the fact that the Cemetery is a place of rest and we will continue to work to ensure the area is kept clean, tidy and safe for the public to visit,” the spokesperson added.