Call for CCTV in Cookstown cemetery after tricolour glued to headstone

A tricolour was taped to the grave of tattoo artist Jason Steele over the weekend, an act which has been condemned by the community.
A tricolour was taped to the grave of tattoo artist Jason Steele over the weekend, an act which has been condemned by the community.

Calls have been made for CCTV cameras in Cookstown cemetery after a tricolour was glued to a headstone, in an act of vandalism.

The despicable act on the grave of Jason Steele, which is thought to have happened sometime over the weekend, has attracted widespread condemnation.

From the photograph which was circulated widely on Facebook over the weekend, it is clear that glue has been used to attach the flag to the headstone. And social media users were quick to criticise the behaviour of the individual or group who committed this act.

Director of Corporate and Operational Services for Cookstown District Council, Ivor Paisley told the MAIL that the vast majority of people come to the graveyard to pay their respects to friends, family and loved ones.

“They want access at various times and we respect this,” he said. “However, there will always be situations where people abuse this trust. On balance, we have it right though, and over the years, the level of vandalism has been reduced. We do try to accommodate everyone’s needs.”

Cookstown Ulster Unionist Councillor Trevor Wilson said he utterly condemned this act of vandalism which, he said, had caused a great deal of distress to the Steele family members and friends of Jason.

“As the area is frequented by many people, I hope that someone has seen this taking place and I would appeal to anyone with information on the person responsible to contact the PSNI immediately,” he said.

Also condemning the attack was DUP MLA Ian McCrea who said he had been contacted regarding CCTV for the cemetery, a matter which he has raised this with Council.