Threat to photo-shame thugs running rampant in historic graveyard

Some residents have threatened to photo-shame ‘ill-reared brats’ who are causing anti-social behaviour problems in an historical Co Armagh graveyard.

Shankill Graveyard in Lurgan has been plagued with anti-social behaviour and vandalism over recent years and it is spilling into the close-knit residential area beside it.

The graveyard, which is where some of the most prominent of past Lurgan citizens have been buried, is regarded as hugely significant in local history.

One resident said the abuse some locals received yesterday after confronting some of the youths was ‘a disgrace’.

The resident said a large crowd of teenagers were ‘running mad’ in the graveyard.

“A resident who lives in the street went down to the gates in Glebe Terrace/Shankill Street to chase them and the abuse received from the teenagers was a disgrace,” she said.

Graves have neen wrecked again at historic Shankill Graveyard

Graves have neen wrecked again at historic Shankill Graveyard

“Some of them ran out of the graveyard when they were approached and the rest of the ill-reared brats gave out a lot of abuse.

“This is starting to be a massive problem in the area where they are gathering on a regular basis and also down in the garden at the bottom of the street.

“The weekend was a disgrace as well with them running havok around it,” she said.

“If it happens again I will be posting pictures up of them to show their parents what they are doing.

Graves have been wrecked again at historic Shankill Graveyard

Graves have been wrecked again at historic Shankill Graveyard

“Parents need to step up here and take control of these young ones,” she said.

There has been outrage over recent years at the high level of destruction in the graveyard with very old headstones damaged beyond repair.

Many calls have been made for extra security at the graveyard and CCTV facilities.

The PSNI said: “Local police have been working closely with the Friends of Shankill Graveyard group to identify ways we can work together with other partners and agencies to address recent issues and identify ways going forward that could reduce and ultimately prevent anti-social behaviour and criminal damage in the graveyard.”

Graves have been wrecked again at historic Shankill Graveyard

Graves have been wrecked again at historic Shankill Graveyard

Inspector Brian Mills said: “We are in regular contact with the group and have already helped to secure the gates and we are currently exploring other positive steps we can take together.

“I would encourage people to become involved with the group and to follow their activities on Facebook for more information on the action being taken to help protect this important and historic area for local people.”

Graves have been wrecked again at historic Shankill Graveyard

Graves have been wrecked again at historic Shankill Graveyard