Thugs destroy 27 headstones in city cemetery rampage
Vandals wrecked 27 headstones in a "systematic" wave of destruction at a Dublin cemetery.
The headstones, which date back to the Victorian era, were knocked down and broken by the thugs in Goldenbridge Cemetery this week.
Glasnevin Trust, which operates the graveyard on the Finglas Road, says that most of the monuments were "destroyed beyond repair."
Several headstones were deliberately broken in half, while others were simply knocked over and smashed.
A groundskeeper made the shocking discovery and reported the incident to gardai, who are investigating the incident.
The cemetery, which is closed to the public, has been the vandalised in the past, with the headstone of the grave of former Taoiseach WT Cosgrave targeted last year.
The top of the monument, capped with a Celtic cross, was knocked off in the incident.
An empty lodge, located in the grounds was burned down by vandals in a separate incident in 2014.
Glasnevin Trust said that the latest vandalism is "very upsetting". It said that it was "actively engaged" in working with gardai "in an effort to bring an end to these distressing acts of targeted vandalism".
"Unfortunately, the cemetery has been the target of similar destructive vandalism on a number of occasions in the past couple of years," a spokesman said.
Recently, plans were put forward to reopen the cemetery to the public. But local Fine Gael TD Catherine Byrne now fears the plans could be halted due to the vandalism. She said she was "really annoyed" about the incident. "I want people to be able to visit the graves of their loved ones and ancestors, but these thugs won't give the place the respect it deserves," she said.
Ms Byrne, who has great grandparents buried in the cemetery, says vandalism in the area has become "a huge problem", with the cemetery being particularly badly hit.
"People just don't seem to care, they just go in knock them (gravestones) over and don't care that they are destroying a piece of history."
"The Glasnevin Trust tells me they are prepared to put money into it but I don't know if that will happen now," she said.
A spokesperson for the Glasnevin Trust insisted that plans are going ahead.
The Trust said it is actively working with the Inchicore Development Association and Dublin City Council to include the cemetery as part of a local development project.
As part of the plans, they said that it was intended to fully re-open the cemetery for the community.