Man charged with criminal damage to Republican graves

Graffiti daubed on headstones of leading War of Independence figures

Det Garda Jim Kearney told Cork District Court  about graffiti written on the plot where the lord mayors of Cork Tomas Mac Curtain and Terence MacSwiney are buried

Det Garda Jim Kearney told Cork District Court about graffiti written on the plot where the lord mayors of Cork Tomas Mac Curtain and Terence MacSwiney are buried

 

A 52-year-old man has been remanded on bail after he was charged with criminal damage by daubing graffiti on the graves of leading figures from the War of Independence in Co Cork.

David Cooper of Flat 6, 7 Southern Road, Cork was charged with defacing the graves at the Republican Plot at St Finbarr's Cemetery, Glasheen Rd, Cork by writing graffiti on them between March 28th and 29th last.

The graffiti, written on the plot where the Lord Mayors of Cork, Tomas Mac Curtain and Terence Mac Swiney are buried, included swastikas and “F**k the IRA” and “IRA scumbags”.

Today at Cork District Court, Det Garda Jim Kearney told how the graffiti also included the name and phone number of a HSE official who had nothing to do with the graffiti.

The man was so stressed last weekend when Easter Rising commemorations were taking place that he and his wife had moved out of their home after receiving some phone calls.

The man had gone to the graveyard where he met members of Sinn Féin cleaning off the graffiti and he had helped them by erasing his own name and number from a headstone.

Judge Con O'Leary asked Mr Cooper's solicitor, Frank Buttimer if his client appreciated the seriousness of the consequences for the person whose name he had painted on the headstones.

"The majority of people might take a certain view of it but there could be a minority who take particular offence .... there could be passionate sensitivities at this time of year," he said.

Mr Buttimer said Mr Cooper didn't realise the gravity of what he had done at the time but now appreciated its seriousness and has been "quite tearful and upset" over the matter.

The court heard Mr Cooper is currently attending both a GP and a psychiatrist and the incident in the graveyard happened after two days of heavy drinking and failing to take his medication.

Judge O'Leary granted Mr Cooper bail on conditions including that he stay off drink, stay out of all graveyards and keep away from all republican monuments as he remanded him to appear again on April 17th.