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30 headstones ruined as cemetery smashed up by 'pure scumbags'

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Some of the damaged headstones at Dublin’s Bluebell Cemetery that left relatives in a state of shock

Some of the damaged headstones at Dublin’s Bluebell Cemetery that left relatives in a state of shock

Some of the damaged headstones at Dublin’s Bluebell Cemetery that left relatives in a state of shock

Vandals have destroyed up to 30 headstones in a city graveyard, leaving bereaved families distraught.

Gardai and Dublin City Council have launched investigations into the damage done to the graves at Bluebell Cemetery.

It is understood the sickening spree took place over four nights last week and left headstones irreparable.

A video has emerged online showing the smashed memorials across the site.

Dubliner Rachel Mangan, who has loved ones buried at the cemetery, labelled those behind the carnage as "scumbags".

Disrespect

"If there's one place that's sacred, it's a graveyard. You just don't disrespect the dead," she told the Herald.

"Our family have a few graves in the graveyard and I would visit the odd time.

"I was in shock when I saw the damage, and I wouldn't normally go into shock."

Gardai confirmed they are investigating damage to "up to 30" headstones in the cemetery between August 24 and 27.

"No arrests have been made to date but investigations are continuing," a spokesperson said.

Rev Anthony Clancy, co-parish priest of Our Lady of the Wayside, said he feels disgusted by the incident.

"I went to visit the gravesite when I first heard the news and just couldn't believe it," he told the Herald.

"I was and still am in a deep state of shock by the damage caused. So many people have loved ones buried there and it's just too upsetting to talk about.

"I'll be meeting with parishioners to discuss this situation and find a way to move on."

Clondalkin councillor Francis Timmons, whose great-grandparents are buried at the cemetery, is calling for additional security measures to be put in place.

"The graveyard needs to be secured and protected," he said.

"This is the action of pure scumbags that have no regard for the people buried there or for the relatives and friends who are deeply upset by the mindless actions of these thugs."

Dublin City Council said it is working with gardai and has notified any families affected by the vandalism where possible.

In a letter seen by the Herald, city parks superintendent Leslie Moore said: "We are arranging to get a gate installed which can be locked in the evening, but in our experience this is no guarantee of keeping out youths who are intent on causing damage as they can access through private property which adjoins the cemetery.

"We have also made arrangements to repair the damage that was done to the gravestones."


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