Flowers stolen from grave at cemetery

Entrance to Larne Cemetery.  Image by Google
Entrance to Larne Cemetery. Image by Google

A Larne man has spoken of a family’s distress after flowers were stolen from his brother’s grave.

David Smyth, whose brother Billy is interred in Larne Cemetery, said the theft occured over the festive period.

“My sister-in-law Joyce had left a bunch of flowers on her husband’s grave just before Christmas,” David said.

The family were alerted to the missing flowers a few days later when another relative passed through the cemetery and noticed that the bunch was no longer on the grave.

“It’s despicable,” David added.

“The whole family are hurt that someone would do this. It’s particularly hard because Billy only died two years ago and it’s all still very fresh in their memory.”

A father-of-two, Billy lived for most of his life in Larne and was “well-known” in footballing circles, according to his brother.

Appealing for anyone with information to contact police, David added: “I understand there are probably people out there who don’t have the money to buy flowers to put on their own family graves, but that doesn’t mean they can lift them from others.

“It was quite a substantial bunch so it couldn’t have been blown away.”

A spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, which maintains Larne Cemetery, said: “The council is aware of this incident and offers its sympathy to the family and everyone affected.

“Cemeteries provide a peaceful and respectful place for people to come and remember their loved ones and any anti-social behaviour or vandalism is not acceptable.

“Council would urge anyone with information to contact the PSNI on 101.”