A Ballycarry minister has condemned the theft of ornaments and soft toys from a child’s grave at Ballycarry’s new cemetery.
Rev Dr John Nelson of Ballycarry Old Presbyterian Church spoke out after he was approached by the owner of a grave in the cemetery, who spoke to him on behalf of the family concerned.
“It was brought to my attention last Sunday, so it must have happened in the past week or two,” he told the Times.
“The items have been stolen, which causes distress.
“The family are upset. When you leave something on a grave you expect it to be there until you choose to remove it.
“The fact that it was a child’s grave makes it even more upsetting.”
Rev Nelson said that the family concerned, who did not wish to be identified, were keen to publicise the theft incase local people came into contact with someone trying to sell the stolen property.
“They are hoping to raise awareness so that those who are contemplating doing this will think again,” he continued.
“It’s not pleasant that someone should think that this is an appropriate way to make a pound.
“They must be intending to recycle or sell it.”
Rev Nelson said that he would appeal to those responsible to return the items.
“I would appeal to their sense of decency and I hope that they will leave it back to the grave where they found it,” he said.
The local minister also hopes that drawing attention to the issue will dissuade those who carried out the theft from doing so again.
“I hope that they will think twice about doing this again and that they will reflect on their actions,” he continued.
“The family involved are not members of my congregation, but this is a point of general concern. Any decent person would be concerned by it.
“When you go to a grave, it should be as it was left.
“To go intentionally to take off a few items to sell is distressing for the family.”