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Further incidents dash hopes of end to Tulla grave thefts

HEARTLESS thieves, who have stuck again at Tulla Graveyard, over the festive period, have been condemned by a local councillor.

Gardaí say that in the run-up to Christmas four graves were targeted and a number of decorative items taken. The incidents have quashed hopes locally that a spate of thefts over the course of last year had finally come to an end.

“The latest news is hugely disappointing,” said Councillor Pat Hayes. “Gardaí have put huge time and effort in to tackle this situation and it seemed to have stopped. It’s a sinister activity and people are, naturally, hugely emotional when the grave of a loved one is disturbed. People go to the graveyard for quietness and solace and shouldn’t have to be worrying about what they’ll find when they go there.”

Prior to the December incidents, it is understood that there have been more than 20 thefts at the remote graveyard over the course of the year. At least 18 incidents were reported to Gardaí and the matter was addressed by Chief Superintendent Seán Colleran at a meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) where he urged people to continue to report their concerns.

The option of installing CCTV is now one which Councillor Hayes says must be examined as a matter of urgency. “We have to meet this head-on in the New Year and we will have to look at the option of CCTV,” he said. “I would also urge people to remain vigilant and to keep Gardaí informed of any suspicious activity.”

A Garda spokesperson said that between December 22 and 25, six ornamental barrels were stolen from three family graves and a decorative box taken from a fourth burial place.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Killaloe Garda Station on 061-376242 or Ennis Garda Station on 065-6848100.

About Fiona McGarry

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Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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