Two families who have loved ones buried near the new fence at Cookstown’s Forthill Park Cemetery have hit out at the construction.
Angry with the council for not building a wall between the graves and the road leading into the car park like in the rest of the graveyard, they said that nothing would have been better than the “cheap looking” green mesh that was put up.
“I’m just not happy about it,” said the mother of a young woman who is buried there.
“I think it’s an eyesore and I would rather it had been left with nothing, than put that up - we had wanted a wall and a wall would have been tidier and a bit more private.
“That fence is ridiculous - you can still see through it.
“As you come through the main entrance it’s on your left hand side, it’s just three posts with green mesh,” she added.
We were sort of, of the understanding that it was going to be like a solid fence to give us a bit of privacy. It’s ridiculous - it’s real cheap looking
“We asked for a wall and were told that there wasn’t the money for the wall, that they would give us a fence.
“We were sort of, of the understanding that it was going to be like a solid fence to give us a bit of privacy.
“It’s ridiculous - it’s real cheap looking.”
Another lady, whose 36-year-old daughter was laid to rest in the plot last year, called the Mail to say she too is upset about the fence.
“We asked the council six or seven weeks ago to put up a wall and they told us they couldn’t afford it,” she explained.
“They put up a few slabs of wood and this big long thing of green mesh. There’s walls round everywhere else only this one new plot - and it is as you enter the graveyard.
“There’s a lot of people angry about it,” she went on, “we’re going to have to do something.
“They say that it will keep the dogs and people from going through it, but at the same time it is an eye sore.”
When I asked the women what they would like the council to do, they both said they would like a wall - which would provide more privacy.
The Mail contacted Mid Ulster council with the women’s concerns.
A spokesperson for the council said: “In response to concerns raised by visitors to the cemetery about people walking through a young beech hedge which has been planted at this part of the cemetery, a temporary fence has been installed to prevent access and to protect the hedge until is properly established. As a wall had never been considered by the former Cookstown council as an option, given it would not be appropriate at this location, the issue of cost did not arise.”
When we pointed out that the rest of the graves were surrounded by a wall, they added: “Many of those walls have been in place for a considerable number of years and at that location, just at the entrance to the cemetery, there are no existing walls and softer landscaping is more desirable, both here and throughout the cemetery where possible.”