About 20 headstones knocked by vandals at Cork cemetery

Gardaí investigating whether damage was caused by a group attending a funeral

Twenty four-hour security has been put in place at a cemetery in Cork after vandals knocked 20 headstones and damaged statues.

Cork City Council said a Garda investigation is underway over what happened at St Catherine’s Cemetery in Kilcully.

Laura Donovan from Fair Hill in Cork city has a mother, two brothers and a sister buried at the cemetery.

“We are still very much in shock. My 80-year-old dad is is not sleeping. The grave is destroyed.”


She said her sister’s grave was not damaged. “The grave with my mother and brothers was. One brother was 24 when he died. And the other was 41.

“I found out from Facebook. I was scanning pictures and noticed my family name. That was the first I knew.”

Cork City Council said efforts are being made to prevent further damage.

“A number of headstones were knocked off their plinths (approx. 20) and minor damage caused to some small statues. There are a few thousand headstones in the cemetery and thankfully the vast majority were not touched. We have a fixed security presence on site for the foreseeable future,” a spokesman said.

Sinn Féin councillor Thomas Gould said he has never seen vandalism of this scale at a cemetery in Cork.

“This was very vicious and nasty and whoever did this is without a moral compass. There is a substantial cost involved for families in replacing these headstones,” he said. “ We have to look in to putting CCTV footage in the graveyard itself.”

A public meeting will take place on Saturday at 2pm in the Commons Inn in Cork city.

Gardaí found discarded beer and vodka bottles on graves and they are investigating reports that the vandalism happened when a group attending a burial went on a drinking spree in the cemetery.

Gardaí received several complaint about the vandalism and have appealed to anyone who noticed anything suspicious in St Catherine's Graveyard or the general Kilcully area in recent days to contact them at Mayfield Garda Station on 021-4558510.